If the government or rather Bush and his enablers are going to torture people in our name doesn’t it behoove them to have our largest security agencies agree whether someone actually possesses information so vital to our national security and the imminent lose of life that torture is the only resort, FBI, CIA Debate Significance of Terror Suspect – Agencies Also Disagree On Interrogation Methods
Al-Qaeda captive Abu Zubaida, whose interrogation videotapes were destroyed by the CIA, remains the subject of a dispute between FBI and CIA officials over his significance as a terrorism suspect and whether his most important revelations came from traditional interrogations or from torture.
While CIA officials have described him as an important insider whose disclosures under intense pressure saved lives, some FBI agents and analysts say he is largely a loudmouthed and mentally troubled hotelier whose credibility dropped as the CIA subjected him to a simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding and to other “enhanced interrogation” measures.
Christopher Hitchens is a genuinely sad figure. If there was ever a pint at witch he could have made some relevant contribution to the debate about public policy and national security it has long passed. Now he wants to make the argument, based on Article VI of the Constitution that its OK to have a religious litmus test for political office. That argument can’t be made with Article VI and the issue has already be decided. People can and do vote for people based on which candidate best represents their beliefs. Romney is running away from his religion to appease Rightie Evangelicals, while Huckabee is running as a “Christian leader”. Chris is right that he can also reject any and all candidates based on his beliefs, but I think we all alreadt knew that. Sadly Hitch gets paid for expressing goofy opinions like this based on oddball interpretations of the Constitution.
Yes Virginia there are wing-nuts in Great Britain and Canada. The Spectator’s U.K. edition writes, The blood runs cold, Monday, 17th December 2007
The lights are going out on liberal society – and it is the most liberal societies with their fingers on the ‘off’ switch. The thesis of Mark Steyn’s book America Alone, that Europe was succumbing to an Islamist takeover, has been proved spectacularly correct — in Canada, and with himself as the designated victim. The New York Post reports that both Steyn and Macleans magazine, which reprinted a chapter of his book, are to be hauled before two Canadian judicial panels to answer the charge that they have spread ‘hatred and contempt’ for Muslims. And what was the heinous view Steyn vouchsafed to occasion such a charge?
…the notion that Islamic culture is incompatible with Canada’s liberalized, Western civilization.
Well excuse me, but some of us were under the impression that a global war was currently being waged by a section of the Islamic world in order to write the truth of that assertion in blood.
Steyn should be able to write what he pleases and has for years now as long as like everyone else he doesn’t commit libel or slander. The Spectator’s problem seems to be one that infects the Right like a bad head cold. That we’re engaged in some giant “global war”. Someone needs to tell the “Islamic world” because if we go by the numbers its not even close to a global war. Most Islamists in the world live in Asia, not the Middle-East. So what the heck are we doing in Iraq. Shouldn’t we have invaded Mongolia if Islam per se is the enemy. The population of the U.S. is about 310 million, the worldwide estimate of total al-Qaeda membership ranges from 60,000 to 20,000. Hardly a match for Canadian forces much less the U.S. The only way that the U.S. can be defeated by such a force, and Mark Steyn and the Spectator seem to think they can is if we all run around in a panic like a nation of mindless Chicken-Littles. If we applied, really applied the Right’s mentality to our lives we’d never get into a car. Cars killed 43,000 people in the U.S. in 2002. The automobile is a far greater threat to western lives then those few Muslims that have been wacky enough to join up with jihadist radicals. Perspective is such a great word, the Spectator might want to look it up in the dictionary and mull it over.
There are truths on this side of the Pyranees, which are falsehoods on the other. ~ Blaise Pascal