The horizon is not so far as we can see, but as far as we can imagine

Dogs used to rape prisoners at Bagram?

I don’t know.  But Pinochet did the same (plus rats), it’s not without precedent.

I hope not:

The war veteran, who loathed manipulating Western politicians even as he defended tactics of collective punishment, continued his account: Afghan prisoners were tied face down on small chairs, Jack said. Then fighting dogs entered the torture chamber.

“If the prisoners did not say anything useful, each dog got to take a turn on them,” Jack told Todenhoefer. “After procedure like these, they confessed everything. They would have even said that they killed Kennedy without even knowing who he was.”

What should be done is to find out.

If true, everyone involved, from the President on down, and everyone who covered for them should be tried and locked up.  (I’d say hanged high, and would be willing to be hang man, but prison is a worse fate.)

That won’t happen, and we know it won’t happen.

What was I saying about depraved?


Exchange Rates 101


The murder of two NY policemen in retaliation—


  1. thepanzer


  2. Monster from the Id

    Cue coward or paid troll (I’m not sure which he is) Jeffy-boy to defend the “dog show” in 5…4…3…

  3. jeff pendergast

    I’m shivering in fear under my covers, just back from the bank cashing my checks….Or maybe I think it is despicable and hope it isn’t true. If it is, I of course agree with Ian.

  4. S Brennan

    Alfreda Bikowsky “is still in a position of high authority over counterterrorism at the C.I.A.” This agent, “dropped the ball when the C.I.A. was given information that might very well have prevented the 9/11 attacks; she gleefully participated in torture sessions afterward; she misinterpreted intelligence in such a way that it sent the C.I.A. on an absurd chase for Al Qaeda sleeper cells in Montana. And then she falsely told congressional overseers that the torture worked.”

    Hmmm…apparently the CIA felt she deserved a promotion and higher pay, rather than a firing squad. ..this cruel idiot working @ the CIA helped the 911 hijackers by not doing her job and then misled the agency with evidence purportedly extracted from torture.

  5. scruff

    Nothing much is unbelievable anymore. Still, the fact that the people won’t rise up and overthrow the tyrants is worse than any revelation of torture could ever be, because *this* fact means that shit will continue to get worse.

  6. jump

    Glad you are back.
    So people torturing people is OK, even if sometimes, in extreme situations and all that. But using dogs! Heaven forbid. How can you use those poor pooches. They are so innocent and cute.
    Really? Bad photo op too.
    And we will ignore the last part of the quote, ‘They would have even said that they killed Kennedy without even knowing who he was.”
    I don’t care if you are a paid hack. If you are paid I do not know what the ROI could possibly be. You certainly have an entertainment value on this end so thanks.
    And btw, I am Canadian since you seem to care. And I worry about my current government and its abuses on the environment, democracy, parliamentary traditions, ….

  7. ibaien


    why is this any worse? once you’ve decided to torture, is any one baroque invention worse than another? I mean, sure, it’s awful, but this shit’s been going on since long before Torquemada. if the pendergasts of the world were fine with the other stuff then philosophically of course they’d be fine with this. maybe the only way to defuse the ticking time bomb is with a good dog-fucking.

  8. Mary McCurnin

    The reason psychologically healthy people are horrified by this is because knowing what happened makes it more real. And psychologically unhealthy people simply find the whole thing thrilling and justifiable.

  9. Ian Welsh

    Yes, some types of torture are worse than others, though none should be engaged in.

    It takes a particularly depraved person to think “let’s rape them with dogs!”

  10. Imagine if we lived in a world in which the ticking time-bomb were the depravity eventually unleashed by incessant idle speculation over ticking time-bombs. Who do we torture to defuse *that* ticking time-bomb, I ask you?

  11. Lisa FOS

    Of course they did. And they will also have had their sisters/mothers raped in front of them and so on. Women prisoners will have been gang banged to death.

    There is no limit to what they did, no matter how bad or depraved.

    This was industralised terror torture on a huge scale. To break and terrify the (at that time) Sunni Baathist population. Combined by a total decapitation of the society (Govt, medical, education, business, etc).

    Difference to what the Germans did in Poland (etc)….Iraqi’s were supposed to be the serfs, while their oil was taken from them, poor uneducated and terrified, occasional servants to the new US elite.

    While the ‘enduring bases” (started on about day 20 after the invasion) were being built …using foreign labour no less.

    There were no levels they would no stoop to….whatever you can imagine, no matter how bad …they did it, over and over again.

    Note that started right from the start, from day 1. The paid off Iraqi generals got a flight out with their money, others who fought were not so lucky. Remember one where it was quite openly stated by the US that they had his family …and he had better surrender real fast….That was in the first month of the invasion….

    There was nothing accidental about this at all. This was the neo-con plan, a total terror state crushing the Iraqi people forever.. Made Hussain look like a choir boy.

    Remember their first run through….Chile (albeit with a local actor) ? This was their first real go, since the Philipines, of doing it by their own bloody hands.

  12. V. Arnold

    While I have no doubts of human’s ability to commit depravity; I find this information/accusations somewhat incredible.
    Dogs fucking prisoners? That goes solidly against common sense, IMO.
    I seriously doubt this as fact.
    The rest; I have no to little doubt and condemn it soundly.
    Heads need to roll…

  13. JustPlainDave

    FWIW, I ran the source down. It’s about the thinnest possible sourcing and the context of it makes me very skeptical. Beyond the assertions about dogs, as reader I’m expected to believe that a 38 year old former CF member speaks knowledgeably about events in Kunduz (to clarify for the typical reader, that’s in RC North, under German command, on the other side of the country from where we operated), personally claimed between 200 and 250 “kills”, felt immense power from pulling the trigger, said that he was too “unsocialized” to ever return to Canada, expected Europe to go down to blowback from the current conflicts, and led the conversation with rhetoric about WMD in Iraq. All of this expressed to a German politician (i.e., member of a class the source is supposed to despise) who he doesn’t know from Adam. I don’t know who Todenhofer spoke with in Kabul, but that doesn’t sound like any CF member I’ve ever met – were I to have to bet on this, I’d put my chips on Todenhofer having been fished.

  14. V. Arnold

    @ JPD

    Yeah, I call bullshit on this as well.
    I’m a little more than surprised Ian ran this piece…

  15. jeff pendergast


    I Ieel like Sally Fields enthusiastily yelling to the academy, “thank you, you like me!” Truthfully I feel more like Tony Montana, drugged and drunken swearing at all the fancy black tie people dining in the restaurant during the scene just after he curses out and humiliates his wife in “Scarface”. “What are you looking at? You need people like me…”

    I’m not a paid hack, although I seem to add some entertainment value, so if Ian wants to pony up, I’m listening!

    The story is weak like JPD said and I don’t know that it’s worthy of any real further comment. It is pathetic if authentic but either way will probably bring out the fringe loony PETA nuts.

    I don’t object to Canada or Canadians, but when the piling on begins I get a little annoyed….

  16. Hairhead

    I have worked with victims of torture. All of you people who say that the tortures described “go against common sense”, or “is pathetic”, or any of your other excuses for disbelief in the light of the many other well-proven allegations would seem to me to be either willfully ignorant . . . or worse. What proof would you accept? Video or it didn’t happen?

    I have no difficulty believing that US soldiers (and CIA and FBI and licensed American psychologists) got up to this. After all, mere domestic US cops can freely murder men and children on camera, with guns or even using their bare hands, with no repercussions.

  17. Monster from the Id

    Hairhead has a point. Even if this specific story turns out to be spurious, the standard atrocities of our “protectors” make it all too plausible.

  18. jeff pendergast


    I would recommend you either stay out of America entirely or leave immediately given that we all face a clear and present danger from our murderous, barbaric police department.

    Or maybe you get your f…..g head examined. Perhaps both.

  19. Monster from the Id

    “How Torture Puts Americans At Risk”, by retired JAG Major Todd E. Pierce.

  20. well, dogs are at least mammals, so I guess we can be happy with that.

  21. Hairhead

    Jeff, my goodness, such an angry response to my non-obscene, non-profane personal remarks, contrasted against such a tepid response to the actual evil of torture done in your name. Your every post illuminates and clarifies your character.

  22. jeff pendergast


    My goodness? Cut the wimpy crap.

    Hiding behind a passive aggressive post while insulting American law enforcement is not only disingenuous but really, really boring. Say what you want about me, but I am honest and consistent. What you said about police murdering people with impunity is far more repulsive than recommending you get your f…..g head examined, which I reiterate.

  23. Everythings Jake


    I can’t breathe.

  24. Monster from the Id

    Jeff still thinks the internal and external security forces are his protectors, rather than his overseers.

    I expect he has the same pale pink skin tone which I have.

    He thinks the only people the Blue Gestapo torture and murder will be nonwhites and “trashy” whites, DFHs, and the like, not good patriotic white sheeple like him.

    He hasn’t yet realized that in the New Slavery of Global Capital, “white” skin will not protect anyone from enslavement, as it did not protect anyone in ancient Rome.

    He, and so many other of my fellow palefaces who share his worldview, will soon face a rude awakening.

  25. Patricia

    Jeff is looking for someone to persecute him for his stance but can’t get no satisfaction. He ups the ante; still no go.

    I’m sure there’s somewhere you can be martyr, Jeff. Good luck.

  26. guest

    I don’t believe this one because although I wouldn’t put anything past the CIA or FBI or the military NSA guys, I don’t believe it would be easy to find even one dog, much less multiple “fighting dogs” willing to pull this kind of thing off. Dogs humping is common. Dog on human rape sounds like an improbably urban legend.

  27. jeff pendergast

    @Patricia, Hairless,

    So you two must be cool with the 2 cops shot dead in Brooklyn today? Fair retribution for a country of police who murder their own people with impunity, right? The fine man that blasted away was just a poor, misunderstood fellow who never had a fair chance right?

    @murder, your last post was just rich! Dude, get off the LSD. Maybe YOU are the paid one? (Although short of George Soros who would pay for such insane jibberish)

  28. jeff pendergast


    What happened to Gardner was wrong, tragic and inexcusable, fyi. That cop should have been indicted.

    Not so in Ferguson.

  29. Monster from the Id

    @Patricia: Help, help! HE’S BEING REPRESSED! 😉

  30. Everythings Jake


    When an entire community rises up, that is not because of a single incident, and examining it in isolation will produce no lasting value. Which is just fine for those who don’t want to see systemic change. What happened to Eric Gardner was murder. What happened to Michael Brown should have been left to a jury of Mr. Wilson’s peers to decide. What is happening to too many police forces is that they have simply because legalized gangs, collecting fees for the city because corporations don’t want to pay taxes and confiscating property that won’t be returned even if a person is found innocent (consultants now make a living instructing forces how to do this). As is often the case, good men and women continue to work within the system, but the overriding trend towards militarization is disturbing. In defense of the police, the system itself is so corrupted and rotten (as Patrick L. Smith notes, when the judiciary goes, which ours has done, it’s a serious problem), that choices to act with conscience are fewer and far between.

    I’ll just offer one example: a few years back, in Los Angeles, 10 late teen early twenty somethings looking like they steeped off Haight Street from the sixties (flower skirts in plentiful supply) decided to protest Deutsche Bank by shutting down Avenue of the Stars, the main thoroughfare for Century’s City high rise office buildings. The LAPD turned out in numbers 20 or more to 1. While a few motorcycle cops circled the kids on their bikes like hunters stalking animals, the remainder of the staged themselves next to my office building with enough fire power to stage a raid on a mid-sized Iraqi city (mind you this is the department that purchased Raytheon’s microwave weapon that the U.S military turned down). I went down to talk to the officers, in particular to ask if they knew that the City of Los Angeles had just sued Deutsche Bank as an absentee owner of foreclosed houses and buildings causing blight across the city. There had been a very good article on the subject some weeks prior, focusing on the difficulty in particular it created for police because neighborhoods were made far more dangerous. Not a single officer was aware, or cared, about the connection, although I couldn’t find anyone active in the Union that might at least have taken it up as a safety issue. No Deutsche Bank official has been before, during or since, hassled in any way remotely like the kids the cops essentially terrorized that day. That’s seriously fucked up. I’m not naive enough to say that the police force doesn’t have to deal with some seriously grim work, but when you treat activists whose work might actually improve your life the same way you might treat a drug dealer or a murderer, something is wrong.

  31. Ian Welsh


    you’re beginning to look like a troll.

    I’d appreciate it if you didn’t.

  32. jeff pendergast


    Sorry. the natives are getting a little restless and I am clearly the target of their aggression and responding in kind, or maybe the other way around. I will refrain.

    Your last post about the the dogs was, well frivolous. Just sayin’.

  33. jeff pendergast


    No question, police have had their moments. It is fair to say that that law enforcement has to be reigned in at times. Police confiscating personal property b/c corporations are not paying their taxes? Not sure I follow that line of thinking.

    The FBI’s statistics indicate that 99.9% of all police confrontation in the USA are non-violent. There are certainly exceptions in a country of over 300 million people, but that’s what they are, exceptions. Accidents, reactions during the heat of a confrontation (and just stupid over reactions like the case in LA you cited) happen, whether you want to blame system or human nature. If there is a better system, let’s see it implemented, I for one am all for it.

    Black, white, latino, asian, etc., every life matters, non should be treated with any more importance that the other.

  34. Everythings Jake


    This depends on how you define violence, and of course, on who keeps the statistics. Stop & Frisk is violent – it may not be physically violent, but it is psychologically so, and that can be as damaging and ultimately as dangerous as physical violence. The collective rage loosed on L.A. in 1992 was much more a response to decades of frustration at the daily slights and injustices suffered by an entire community than to the beating of Rodney King.

    As cities’ tax bases dwindle, which happens in no small measure as corporations do everything they can not just to avoid taxes, but to shift ever greater costs on to the tax base (witness the way some corporations get to keep state employee taxes or the way Tesla decides where to build a factory – Dave Cay Johnston is excellent on subjects such as these generally) they turn to other sources of revenue, notably fines.

    This makes cops more revenue collectors than protectors of the community. More Sherriff of Nottingham than Officer Friendly. Alex Vitale at Brooklyn CUNY who studies law enforcement has noted that this was a problem in Ferguson, where people are regularly subject to fines for every little infraction, but they cannot pay them and this casts them into a system from which they cannot escape. The conveniently overlooked “upside” of “broken windows” is revenue generation, and, of course, that it helps to drive the undesirable poor out.

  35. realitychecker

    Reproducing a comment I just added to the prior torture thread (Depraved . . . .depraved), using the pure tricking bomb scenario to illustrate the fallacy of the ABSOLUTE no-torture position.

    December 21, 2014

    Just coming back to say, responses to my prior comment were disappointing. I’m new here, so it’s understandable that some might fail to realize the high quality of debate I seek to engage in.

    But, one response was pure ad hominem, calling me a paid troll. One pointed out the present content of various international accords, as though that could ever be the final word in a complex moral inquiry; as a lawyer, I’m all too aware of how deficient and fluid laws and their enforcement can be to ever have that conclude a conversation about morality. And Ian himself responded, but failed to engage my point, choosing instead to say it might be ineffective because the subject could lie and you don’t have time to verify, but in the pure ticking bomb hypothetical I set up to test the logic, he could also tell the truth and allow the bomb to be harmlessly defused, so trying to get that info would still make sense. Ian, I would also say to you that I don’t want or enjoy more torture just because I point out an extreme situation where torturing would be the only responsible thing to do. I abhor the fact that any living thing should ever in pain.

    I’m trying to point out the fallacy of the ABSOLUTE position to never torture. When many lives are at risk, and the captive subject is known to have the info that could prevent the pain and/or death of the many (my hypothetical), it would be immoral to simply let the many die. Nobody would ever make that choice in real life, especially if their own loved ones were at risk. To aver you would make that choice in the abstract, only serves the purpose of allowing a sense of moral smugness that is not justified, and can lead to bad reasoning in other areas as well. It’s immoral to have such bad arithmetic skills when balancing the costs and benefits of other people’s lives.

    Someone please tell me a logical reason why that is not correct.

  36. Monster from the Id

    Do I hear a chihuahua yipping?

  37. realitychecker

    Aaargh, no edit–should be “ticking bomb,” not “tricking bomb.”

  38. JustPlainDave

    A key problem with using torture in “ticking bomb” scenarios is that usage doesn’t stay contained to that scenario very effectively. The USG adopted coercive means in a panic after 9/11 in exactly that context – those means continued in systematic use until late 2007. Five years in an awfully long time for a bomb to tick.

    I have a pretty good idea how long it takes to develop sources against these targets – in my opinion the continued use of coercive means had little to do with “ticking bombs” and much to do with the age old tendency of covert programs to take on lives of their own. The hardest thing in government to kill is a classified program with a sponsor.

  39. realitychecker


    Easy questions bore me, difficult ones intrigue me and make me wiser.

    I agree with almost everything people here say about torture, EXCEPT for the very specific situation I set up as a hypothetical, i.e., where we KNOW we have the guy who planted a major bomb where it will kill thousands of innocents, and we KNOW he can tell us how to defuse it and save those thousands of innocents. I know that is not the typical situation, but that is the one where the moral choice becomes difficult, and therefore interesting.

    I contend that it would be immoral to NOT torture that horrible person in that instance. And I want to know if anyone here is such an absolutist that he/she would actually say, in that situation, “Let all those innocents die, I won’t compromise my moral posture by inflicting pain on this horrible person.”

    Will anybody here actually say that, and explain their moral rationale for doing so?

  40. Monster from the Id

    We are not here to amuse you with debating hypothetical nonsense, UNrealitychecker.

  41. JustPlainDave

    RC, you seem to be hell-bent on finding the edge case that would make systematized use of coercive means “okay”. In my view, given the incredible downsides – organizationally, practically, hell even morally – of systematizing it I am very, very comfortable leaving that edge case “outside” a rules based system. My personal view – if one really needs hard and fast advance rules to guide one in operations close to the edge, one is in the wrong business. This is why the process of finding folks to operate out there is called “assessment and selection” and not “the process of memorizing 600 arcane rules for safely managing edge cases”.

  42. Trixie

    Ok, RealityChecker, I’ll play.

    You say you’re a lawyer, so then change the laws. Specifically, write the law making “ticking-time-bomb-torture” legal. Predictably, I have some questions for you.

    Why “thousands of people”? Why not hundreds? Or 50? Or 25? Or 1? And define the evidence required to “know” as opposed to “might know”. Can I use a Ouija board? Is there a time limit on the ticking-time-bomb? 5 mins? 5 days? 5 years? What is it? If you “know” there is a ticking-time-bomb, wouldn’t it be morally responsible of you to assume there’s another one? Wouldn’t shoving coconuts up the ticking-time-bomb-terrorist mom’s ass be the only morally responsible response in this case? Where does the Six Degrees of Separation end? Once you reach Kevin Bacon? What if it’s you that “knows”? Remember, there are X (to be determined) lives to be saved!

    You get the idea.

    I’m not trying to make light of this, but you’re attempting to draw lines to justify torture. So actually draw those lines. I want to see them. No more hypotheticals since I’m moderately confident that’s what led us to the SSCI report to begin with.

    Instead, what I see is you building a strong case against torture under any circumstances. Because you, Jack Bauer, could present to the jury the actual defused (non-ticking, in this case) time bomb and the post-it note with the secret code scribbled on it. Saving X (exact number to be determined) lives in the process. No judge or jury would convict you. Easy.

    Or? Just stop watching re-runs of ’24’. It’s not a documentary.

  43. Monster from the Id

    @Trixie: Oh, go ahead and make light of it. Trolls repeating wingnut talking points don’t deserve to be taken seriously.

  44. realitychecker

    I see we have many masters of deflection here (like every blog????), but so far none willing to address my purposely difficult hypothetical on its own terms. Difficult hypotheticals are the time-honored way to explore and test problematic moral and ethical issues. Those of you who are angered by my effort to focus the discussion in this manner should realize that your problem is with Socrates, and not with me.

    My hypo does represent the edge, deliberately so. I REPEAT, I agree with all here about all other aspects of the torture debate. ALL OF THEM!!!!!! OK, have I made myself clear now?

    The edge is where principles get tested. On this thread, only Trixie seems to have understood at all where I am going with this inquiry, in her recognition that all difficult moral choices entail the risk of becoming slippery slope disasters. She’s right, what if it was only 25 to be saved? BUT, what if it was 10, 000,000?

    IMO, an absolutist position cannot be logically or morally adhered to, because at some point there is some number of endangered innocents great enough to justify a departure from the absolutist moral position. I note that none have accepted my challenge, to simply say, “Let all those (thousands, millions, billions, you choose the correct number) die, I won’t compromise my absolutist moral position and hurt this horrible person I have here who has the info needed to save all those lives.” Is that because y’all implicitly recognize that such a statement would itself be immoral? I would hope so, but ask yourselves, why can’t you bring yourself to actually type it out or say it?

    When we get some cogent responses to that question, we can move on to the next step (and there is a next step, which is where my deepest interest lies).

    JUST FYI, my blog reading list for the past ten years has been Firedoglake, Glenn Greenwald,
    Ian, Naked Capitalism, and emptywheel. Never voted for a Republican, only Democrats. I was a daily participant at FDL for ten years, never commented anywhere else. I was many years ahead of FDL in recognizing that the Democratic Party was a worthless corporatist sellout, and also that the electoral system cannot ever get us any significant changes from the path we are on. (And also that FDL has lost most of its interesting commentariat.) Hardly a troll or a right-winger. Just looking for a new place to find SMART FREETHINKERS OF A PROGRESSIVE BENT WHO CAN ALSO BE PRAGMATIC.

    I’ve come here in good faith to learn whether this can be that place.

  45. Monster from the Id

    @RC: I interrupt my regularly scheduled snarkitude to ask:

    If I understand correctly, blogs can be started for free.

    Why not start your own, where you can be as “edgy” as you wanna be?

  46. JustPlainDave

    RC, my problem is not with Socrates. My problem is with a JD with an over-developed need for attention. When you need to work through these issues as part of your pre-deployment workup, let me know – in that context I’ll gladly help you test your ideas. Until then, you’re just another guy who thinks the Internet is on-demand moot court.

    For the record, principles – particularly one’s own principles – don’t get tested in nice, safe situations like sitting in front of your computer talking anonymously with strangers. Principles get tested when it’s down to you *personally* deciding whether you’re going to take the 3 pound sledge to a subject’s hands or not. Folks’ inability to get the essential “there but for the grace of God, and good officers appointed above me” nature of all this forms the basis of my distaste for the “hang ’em high” post-facto zeal.

  47. realitychecker


    Are you wearing your World Class Asshole hat while you stalk me?

  48. realitychecker


    WTF are you raving about, AND WHY THEN ARE YOU HERE?????????????

  49. JustPlainDave

    Apparently I am here to be shouted at for finding your rhetoric to not be as “high quality” as you believe it to be. You believe that your hypothetical is something that folks have to grapple with to be intellectually honest. Sorry, but my mileage varies – I think your hypothetical is derivative, ultimately sterile and shows a lack of deep understanding of how good intelligence processes and good organizations work. If you have something else to show why your hypothetical is what you believe it to be, please share but I’ve spent over a decade thinking about various aspects of this issue and I’m not seeing it at present. I’m willing to admit that that may be because I’m too jaded, but I’m not seeing a lot new here.

  50. Monster from the Id

    Excuse me, but I am a *GALACTIC*-Class Asshole.

    And proud of it. :p

  51. realitychecker

    I seek intelligent back and forth, with the possibility that I might learn something, as well as the possibility that I might help others learn something. I think the moral issues in many areas are always a fresh discussion as long as the world is constantly in a state of flux. And I see many areas of unexplored moral difficulties among my fellow lefties. If exploring those does not interest you, that’s your preference, and you are welcome to it.


    Well, you made me smile with that. 🙂

  52. realitychecker


    Perhaps I’m leading up to making a more general point about the undeserved moral smugness that people like to claim for themselves by asserting unrealistic absolutist moral positions, and how lefties need to do less of that if we really want to be better than our various adversaries?

  53. Monster from the Id

    OK, I’m starting to get the idea. RC just loves arguing for its own sake.

  54. JustPlainDave

    RC, I am no fan of absolutist moral positions. It is apparently not clear from what I have written, but what I have sought to elucidate is a view that is absolutist only in so far that there are lines beyond which rules should not be there to guide one (nor do they entirely apply).

    Having over the years extensively weighed the upsides and downsides of various ethical and legal frameworks around the edge scenario you posit, my view is that it is best to not try to codify this and make it “okay”. My view is that every guy or gal that’s faced with that ticking bomb scenario should be making their own decisions without knowing they have an easy “out”. I know what my decision would be and I am comfortable with them making whatever decision they make – and society may have to punish them for whatever it may be (and that one could well go either way, frankly). If folks don’t think that’s “fair” then I guess my primary response would be that they should be glad that there are other folks still willing to do those jobs.

    tl,dr: Worry less about coming up with a system of rules that makes sense to you and more about choosing the right people to deal with ambiguous circumstances.

  55. Trixie

    RC: I note that none have accepted my challenge, to simply say, “Let all those (thousands, millions, billions, you choose the correct number) die, I won’t compromise my absolutist moral position and hurt this horrible person I have here who has the info needed to save all those lives.”

    Ok fine, I’ll try again then. I get teleported into a dimly lit room. There is a man/woman sitting at a table. On the table is a screw and a screwdriver. Now, per your hypo, I KNOW this person has the secret code required to defuse a ticking time bomb that will save thousands, millions, billions, ONE (there I said it) innocent life/lives. All I have to do is turn the screw? Well then, thumb meet screw. Drill? Yeah, that too. Pliers? Fingernails? On it!

    And I pray to god this qualifies me for nothing more than a guest spot in a Rocky and Bullwinkle episode. Because, yes, I’LL KILL US ALL. Who’s with me?

    That better?

    This, in no way, contradicts my absolutist position when it comes to state-sanctioned __________. With torture absolutely being at the top of that list.

    I get that you think you’ve found a clever rhetorical device that no one else has ever thought of, but I just don’t find it all that interesting.

  56. realitychecker


    Sorry, but that’s just incoherent. As is the buck-passing maneuver embraced by JPD.

    Thanks for playing, folks, but I guess I’ll have to search for my intellectually stimulating commentariat elsewhere.

    Carry on.

  57. JustPlainDave

    RC, you know what “undeserved moral smugness” is? Among other things, it’s bitching at random folks for not being willing partners in intellectual Dutch Ruddering.

    You want to grapple with these issues? Dust off the resumé and join an intelligence service.

  58. Monster from the Id

    What JPD said.

    Although, JPD…how do we know he’s not already employed by an intelligence service?

    (Hey, just because you’re paranoid doesn’t necessarily mean all of your enemies are imaginary.) 😉

  59. Monster from the Id

    Though it’s more likely that RC just enjoys arguing for its own sake, as I said above, and so he’s just doing this on his own time.

  60. Monster from the Id

    Awww, why didn’t I think of this earlier?

    I’m terribly, sorry, Mr. RC, but this is Abuse. Arguments are next blog over. 😆

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén