Motley Moose – Archive

Since 2008 – Progress Through Politics

Torture the Crotch Bomber

Pat Buchanan and others on the political right are suggesting that the Crotch Bomber should be denied pain medication to extract information from him. Bush-era Homeland Security chief Tom Ridge is suggesting that holding him in prison and trying him in federal courts – as the Bush administration did with the like-minded Shoe Bomber – is a travesty, apparently believing he should be somewhere else where we can use (sic) “more effective means” of extracting information from him.

That’s not the American Way, guys, recent evidence to the contrary.  It’s the Way of other folks – the ones we traditionally fight against.

I can’t bring myself to state strongly enough how wrong this is.  As an itinerant ex-pat who is furiously patriotic to this country, the whole idea that the United States of America should do things like withhold pain medication from prisoners with burns to their testicles makes me batshit crazy with anger.  

One of my failings is an addiction to Dale Brown novels.  They are at best poorly-written and at worst purely playing to prurient fantasies of Righteous Testosterone-induce Justice.  But they’re full of damn cool weapons systems and really evil bad-guys that you just can’t help wanting to see killed in spectacular ways.  A more gung-ho munitions-packed gratuitously-violent paean to the virtues of American Moral Exceptionalism and the Clear Justification for Killing Its Enemies is very hard to find.

One of the mechanisms Mr. Brown uses time and again to setup the odds-against rescue of captured American Warriors is to make it overwhelming clear that if we don’t go in there with rockets blazing and Get Our Man Out those evil fuckers will torture him to death!  The miserable cronies of the narcissistic Dictator will break his limbs and mind while denying him pain medication until the brave lad is a gibbering wreck.

This is why America holds the higher ground over al Qaeda, the Waffen SS, Somali warlords and all the rest of the real and fictional embodiments of the Evil that Lurks in the Hearts of Men.  Because we not only don’t do these things but that the mere suggestion that someone would is enough to make us risk everything to stop it.

At what point the moral and ethical people among the political Right (we all know they exist) stand up and call bullshit on the line of ill-reasoning that stands the foundation of American ethics on its head is something we all are waiting to learn.  When does the Newspeak of “torture is freedom” break free from the bonds of political expediency and shatter the glass walls of personal gain?

When will a Senator Joseph Paine break and speak the truth, that there is something special worth protecting about America, whatever the cost?


  1. Why can’t people see that we are playing right into Al Queda’s hands when we do things like that? Their actions are flea bites to a country of 300 million. What they are trying to provoke is an overreaction. That’s exactly what they got from 9/11.

    The other thing I don’t understand is why someone would be in favor of torture? Not only is it an immoral act, it is also counterproductive. If we torture we lose the moral high ground. We also give tacit approval for others to torture people, including Americans.

    If, 10 years ago, you had told me that in the near future this country would establish secret “black prisons” where torture would be used and that we would build a prison camp at Guantanamo, Cuba to hold people indefinitely, I would have ridiculed you as a conspiracy nut.

    Any right-winger that read that last paragraph would accuse me of pre-9/11 thinking. I would reply to that accusation by pointing out that I am the conservative. This country survived and prospered for more than 2 centuries before 9/11/2001. Are we supposed to throw all that we have learned out the window because a few radicals managed to kill 3,000 people? Does the history of this country mean so little to the right-wing?

  2. DTOzone

    Thoughout all this, people seemingly forget that when Richard Reid tried to light his Nikes on fire on American Airlines Flight 63 on Dec 22, 2001, President Bush, then on vacation at Camp David, made no public remarks about the incident until Dec 28, because he felt it wasn’t a good idea to draw attention to it and make people panic during Christmas, AND NOBODY, NOT I, NOT THE DEMOCRATS, NOR THE MEDIA, FUCKING COMPLAINED! Instead, he was praised for not giving into the terrorists’ attempts to ruin everyone’s Christmas.

    I’m sick of the double standards.  

  3. creamer

    this up. From what I gather, had people done what they were paid to do, this guy should not have made it through airport security. Even with all the apparent issues in State about when to reconsider visa’s, or the different departments ability to share information this guy should have been stopped. He was on a list that should have required a full search but apparently recieved none.

     The fact it was security on the ground in Holland that failed really seems to have escaped the critics.

    This really does seem to highlight the need for a more efficient security apparatus. But I think it also highlights the limits a free society has in security.


  4. besidemyself

    I invented the term “crotch bomber” yesterday, posted it to FB and my blog, and asked Chris how long he though it would take to go viral. He didn’t wait long!!::giggle::


    a supposed grownup would admit publicly and on national television that they have visions of causing someone pain, torturing them.  Sure, if someone is mad enough, they might privately wish bad things on another person, but to admit what a childishly vindictive person you are on TV?

    I guess shame is in short supply these days.

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