Saturday, May 2, 2009

Andrei Leftoid quote of the day


The context of Andrew Sullivan's little outburst will be clear if you are a regular denizen of CNN land. If not the background is the debate raging over the use of harsh interrogation techniques against terrorists. The quote is taken from his piece titled Jesus Wept.

"One wonders how many times evangelical preachers have inveighed against the evil of someone like me getting a civil marriage license compared with acts of cruelty inflicted on defenseless human beings in American custody. But one also sees the impact of a Catholic hierarchy more exercized on these social issues than on a categorical evil defended proudly by a former vice-president".

Andrew Sullivan

Now what has set him off is a Pew survey that purports to correlate Church attendance with support for torture.

According to Pew's figures 19% of non-Hispanic Catholics, 18% of White evangelical Protestants, 15% of White mainline Protestants and 15% of the unaffiliated think torture can be often justified.

Just why Pew thought it necessary to try and find a correlation between support for torture and religious adherence remains a mystery. Well not really, the only mystery is that if Pew's figures had come out the other way ie showing the secular more likely to support torture than the religious whether or not CNN would have run with it.

As it happens I share the good Mr Sullivan's disquiet over waterboarding. However I am not about to kid myself that the people who were subject to this treatment were anything other than extremely dangerous individuals with mass murder in their hearts. And I also recognize that whether or not this constitutes torture is a legitimate matter for debate.

In any case the oddest thing about all of this is that if the people who are currently languishing in "gitmo" were to get their way people "like" Andrew Sullivan will have a lot more to loose than conservative Christians ever will.

And I don't think that civil marriage licenses for "someone like" him are part of their agenda either.

18 comment(s):

Lucyna Maria said...

Andrew Sullivan said "So Christian devotion correlates with approval for absolute evil in America."



Torture is absolute evil?

There are far more evil things than torture. Not that I would condone torture in most cases, but to call it absolute is ridiculous. Abortion is absolute evil, because it is torture and murder of the unborn child. The torture of a terrorist who most likely has killed and will innocents in the future - no, that is not absolute evil.

I think this is the guy FairFacts Media keeps pointing as the authority on what the conservative position should be on gay marriage.

Danyl said...

I am not about to kid myself that the people who were subject to this treatment were anything other than extremely dangerous individuals with mass murder in their hearts.After all, governments don't make mistakes, least of all the Bush Administration.

KG said...

If we sat back and did nothing, for fear of making a mistake and as a result thousands more died, you'd regard that as a reasonable price to pay then Danyl?

ZenTiger said...

I think torture, in itself is evil.

It is right to question both the methods and results of governments to use such tools in the purchase of safety.

It is also important to note that the methods of interrogation used were often far milder than the torture we know was employed by some of the South American governments and the likes of Saddam. There, torture was extreme, was often for the sake of torture, and not information, and often led to the death of the victim.

Considerably different than what we are typically discussing here. I'm not trying to excuse this, just keep the facts involved in the debate.

I also think the Democrats were just as complicit in the condoning and approving the interrogation as much as the Republicans. Review the people of the select committees, and the control the Democrats had in the House, and come back and argue they were not in any way a part of this.

I think Obama a fool for releasing only partial information of this. He needed to have released it all, and that would in turn endanger information networks and any intelligence garnered to date. This is the kind of thing you release many years later, or you release enough to provide a balanced account - which is not what is happening here.

He can only do more harm than good to America taking this path.

Danyl said...

If we sat back and did nothing, for fear of making a mistake and as a result thousands more died, you'd regard that as a reasonable price to pay then Danyl?The US weren't torturing people to 'save thousands of lives', they were torturing people to produce false confessions that linked Al Qaeda to Iraq.

My criteria for the use of torture is not 'the ticking time bomb', which happens all the time in movies but has never ever happened in real life - it's the 'incompetent intelligence agency' criteria, which is a very real phenomenon. It goes like this:

If an incompetent intelligence agency mistakenly thinks I'm a terrorist should they have the right to torture me in order to prove it? Should they be able to throw me into prison for the rest of my life based on the false confessions they obtain while torturing me?

If you answer these questions in the affirmative, or you think government organisations like the CIA never make mistakes then I think you should support torture. If you don't like the idea of the government torturing you at will then I think it's something you want to oppose on general principles.

KG said...

"they were torturing people to produce false confessions that linked Al Qaeda to Iraq."
"false" confessions? Then it's odd that those confessions led in some cases to arms caches and bomb-making facilities. (House Intelligence Committee evidence).
And the lives saved in real life were real enough to those saved.
"If you don't like the idea of the government torturing you at will then I think it's something you want to oppose on general principles."
If I don't like the idea of the government torturing me then I'll make damn sure not to join a terrorist organisation or be found in possession of arms and explosives in a combat zone, while not wearing identifying clothing.
And how do you know the 'ticking time bomb' has never happened in rel life Danyl? Are you privy to the intelligence briefings crossing the desks of the military agencies and politicians responsible for national security?
Because if you're not, that's simply an unsupported claim.
What I can tell you from personal experience is that hard physical interrogation in N. Ireland yielded information which saved a number of lives. I'm sure those saved would be fascinated by your theories.

Danyl said...

If I don't like the idea of the government torturing me then I'll make damn sure not to join a terrorist organisation or be found in possession of arms and explosives in a combat zone, while not wearing identifying clothing.So what you're saying here is, essentially, that governments don't make mistakes and that you have complete faith in the ability of the state to determine who is and who is not a member of a terrorist organisation.

So if, say, the Obama Administration started to arrest members of right wing political groups, imprison them without trial and torture them to obtain intelligence about potential terror attacks you'd be fine with that on the grounds that they must be 'saving thousands of lives' as the state has perfect judgement on these issues?

KG said...

"Fine" with it? I'd welcome it, because it would precipitate what's so desperately needed--a clean out of the leftist traitors who infest society.
You can bring up as many hypothetical situations and attempt to put words in my mouth all you like, Danyl but I've already pointed out that harsh interrogation techniques have yielded valuable intelligence and saved lives.
In the face of that (which you don't acknowledge) all you can do is play "what if".
I can't be bothered. It's a standard leftard troll tactic and I have better things to do.

Sean said...

"However I am not about to kid myself that the people who were subject to this treatment were anything other than extremely dangerous individuals with mass murder in their hearts."

- How can you be so sure Andrei? Wasn't there those idiot white-boys (an Australian and a American) joining the Taliban with their adolescent rebel-without-a-clause attitude...? They may not have been tortured but their detention in Gitmo is an indication of overreacting.

Zen - quite the apologist with your 9:06 comment. You defend the torture on there being (apparently) even worse torture. Interesting logic. And then you say "just keep the facts involved" like you're an expert on the different methods employed between South American and US torturers...I'm getting worried now. Either you've received both styles....or dished them out!

Andrei said...

They may not have been tortured but their detention in Gitmo is an indication of overreacting.You think? I'm sure if I took up arms against the New Zealand Government I would find myself subject to detention.

And in such circumstances, I doubt that you would be much troubled by it.

KG said...

Sean, a misguided idiot white boy wielding an AK or a block of Semtex is just as dangerous as any other kind of terrorist.

I doubt you'd regard their imprisonment as "overreacting" had you been on the receiving end of their youthful follies.

ZenTiger said...

What's with the selective reading Sean? You need to re-read the first part of my post.

And then instead of applying the word "torture" to mean anything from calling some-one names to pulling fingernails out to making people swallow burning oil, we could indeed "stick to the facts" as I suggested.

mzala said...

So, what % of Hispanics think it's ok? Why pick specifically on the white folks? I'd hazard a guess that Mr. Sullivan and the likes wouldn't pick up a weapon to defend their country if attacked.The evangelicals more-than-likely, would.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised - and disappointed - to see so many Christians support torture. And if you don't think waterboarding is torture Andrei & KG, you should nip along and give your expert testimony in the Wellington manslaughter trial of those who killed Janet Moses in an 'exorcism' gone wrong. They waterboarded/'harsh interrogation techniqued' her to death...

Most of those in Gitmo are not terrorists, but innocent stiffs hauled up in the dragnet of fake tipoffs for cash, tortured 'confessions', etc. Which is why there is no prosecution of them - because there is no evidence against them that a judge would accept.

And KG, are you telling us you used torture in the employ of the English colonial forces in northern Ireland? Hmmm.

Andrei said...

if you don't think waterboarding is torture AndreiI think I stated my disquiet over this in the post Squaredrive.

Actually the survey is quite meaningless in regards to christians attitudes to torture. The sample cell sizes are small and the variability between them small also.

Take it with a huge grain of salt

KG said...

"..They waterboarded/'harsh interrogation techniqued' her to death"
Which demonstrates two things: You haven't followed the evidence in that case very carefully, and you fail to observe the distinction between 'accused' and 'convicted'.
I'm unaware of 'English colonial forces' anywhere in the world, S/drive--perhaps you could enlighten me?

KG said...

"I'm surprised - and disappointed - to see so many Christians support torture."
Really, I doubt many Christians support torture Squaredrive.
But it does raise an interesting question--just how ruthless do we need to be in battling radical islam? There's no doubt that it's an enemy of civilisation of whatever flavour and there's also no doubt that it recognises no limits to the lengths its adherants will go to in order to establish a worldwide caliphate.
Beslan wasn't an aberration.
Trying to fight it while hamstrung by lawyers and all the restrictions demanded by idealists who've never even seen real evil in action isn't going to cut it.
So what's your solution?

KG said...

What happened? Cat got your tongue, or was the word "Beslan" a little too much to swallow?

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