Conservative radio hosts gets waterboarded, and lasts six seconds before saying it’s torture

What a surprise.

“I wanted to prove it wasn’t torture,” Mancow said. “They cut off our heads, we put water on their face…I got voted to do this but I really thought ‘I’m going to laugh this off.’ ”

The upshot? “It is way worse than I thought it would be, and that’s no joke,” Mancow told listeners. “It is such an odd feeling to have water poured down your nose with your head back…It was instantaneous…and I don’t want to say this: absolutely torture.”

“Absolutely. I mean that’s drowning,” he added later. “It is the feeling of drowning.”

“If I knew it was gonna be this bad, I would not have done it,” he said.


Obama will close Gitmo

President Obama continues the clean break from the policies of the Bush administration. Today he signed new executive orders regarding the closure of the Guantanamo detention facility within a year, the review of military trials of terror suspects and a ban of the harshest interrogation techniques. Obama made his intentions clear:

The message we are sending around the world is that the US intends to prosecute the ongoing struggle against violence and terrorism and we are going to do so vigilantly, we are going to do so effectively, and we are going to do so in a manner that is consistent with our values and our ideals … We intend to win this fight, and we intend to win it on our terms.

I find it interesting that he did not use the phrase “war on terror.” I have no idea if that was intentional, but as I’ve said in the past that phrase was always overly broad and misleading. Hopefully we can move beyond simple slogans to a more sophisticated policy that effectively fights those who wish to do us harm and rebuilds our bonds with moderate and peace-seeking peoples around the world.


Lindsay Graham argues for American standards

Lindsay Graham is becoming one of my favorite Republicans (there aren’t many). I don’t agree with him very often, but he has a knack for taking principled stands, many of which contradict GOP orthodoxy and GOP talking points. This independent streak has made him one of our most interesting and important Senators.

Graham is currently pushing two amendments that are critical to our fight against Islamist jihadists. In support of the McCain amendment agaist torture, Graham writes in the Washington Post:

Even during a time of war, we have chosen to be a nation of laws, with a different, higher set of values than the terrorists. We should always remember that we are Americans, possessing values superior to those of our enemy, and that there is a proper balance between the protection of our troops and the humane treatment of detainees. This value system is our national strength, not a weakness.

He also argues that Congress has been “AWOL on the status of enemy combatants.” He’s right,though it should also be pointed out that the Bush administration has offered no leadership whatsoever on this issue, instead arguing for virtual unlimited power on the part of the executive branch to hold these combatants. The result is a mess in the courts, so Graham is arguing for passage of the Graham-Levin-Kyl amendment.

These actions make sense and it’s time to get serious about these matters.


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