Ventura vs Hasselbeck – Call a spade a spade

You may or may not know that I watch The View. It’s kind of like watching Morning Joe, Golden Girls ( I mean no disrespect to that classic), and a Real Housewives reunion show all at the same time. Yesterday, Jesse “The Ex-Governing Body” Ventura appeared with the ladies to talk recent politics. When Ventura was governor of Minnesota I wrote him off as a joke. It appears, in my youth, I was a bit quick in my judgement. Here’s a clip from the show.

Ventura 1 Hasselbeck 0

Ventura embarrassed Hasselbeck in this clip. This really shows why I don’t like Hasselbeck, which I have addressed before. Having nothing to do with her politics, Hasselbeck just spouts of talking points without ever giving any real thought or insight to what she is saying or the actual facts behind them. Ventura called Hasselbeck on her BS and she crumpled like paper. A commenter at Donklephant articulates their dislike for Hasselbeck. It was so spot on I had to repost it.

from Donklephant:

Justin, as someone who is constantly on your @ss about being biased against conservatives, let me say this.

Hasselbeck IS a right wing idiot.

She is in no respect a thoughtful person, at least not on the air. She demonstrates ZERO in the way of strong-sense critical thinking. What VERY little critical thinking she does perform is limited to weak-sense critical thinking. That’s what you get when you begin by assuming that your premise is correct, and then you defend that premise only by marshaling whatever justifications you can find. You do your best to make the available facts fit the interpretation that you have already taken on faith to be true.

Enough Hassel-bashing, on to the main thrust of the clip: does the US torture?

Ventura’s point is one that right-wing parrot (Hasselbeck) could not avoid. I could start referring to DDT as “happy sunshine spray”, but that wont make it any less carcinogenic. You can call water boarding an “enhanced interrogation technique”, but that doesn’t change what it fundamentally is. If you want to try to defend water boarding call a spade a spade. Don’t do a thesaurus dance to try to make it more palatable. If it were so easy to defend it on it’s description alone one wouldn’t need to rename it. Just a move from the Karl Rove playbook.

Hasselbeck and water boarding defenders cannot ignore history either. The Japanese and Germans both used water boarding during WWII. During war crimes trials a member of the Doolittle Raid testified that his Japanese captors used water boarding during interrogation. Those who used water boarding were considered torturers and hanged.

As Ventura mentions, during the Vietnam War the North Vietnamese regularly used water boarding, and other torture methods, to interrogate POWS in the infamous Hanoi Hilton. The US military court-martialled a soldier in 1968 after the Washington Post ran a picture showing the soldier and two South Vietnamese performing water boarding.

These are just two instances where we have said water boarding was torture. We have recognized that water boarding is unacceptable, to put it mildly. Remember your history. Ditch the propaganda. If we are going to assume the moral high ground then we must walk the walk as well as talk the talk. Terrorists will see through the BS and we will provide them with yet another recruitment tool. Do we really want to do that?


One Response

  1. The Japanese, Vietnamese and more recently the terrorists hiding behind Islam used water boarding as entertainment, much as all other forms of inflicting pain leading to crippling or death is torture. Beheading, bayoneting, cutting or sawing off limbs, etc. is also torture, and all of the above were employed because those who used those techniques were sadistic.
    The leaders and rank and file of any military or government that use or authorize torture in any form is guilty of torture, when it is reasonably known that the victim has no knowledge of the answers to the questions being asked. The aircrews of the Doolittle raid had no idea of what the grand plan was for the Pacific War, just as McCain and all of the other unfortunate POW's had no idea of the plans for VietNam, much beyond the missions they were on when shot down. Having a general or admiral or high ranking civilian from the Pentagon would be a source of more accurate information.
    Unfortunately, during war a normal person could be separated from his humanity, and treat other humans terribly. The average Japanese soldier appears to have been willing to cross that line with some ease, hence the guilty findings and executions, because the torture was not for information as much as for entertainment, and the well being of the victim was of absolutely no concern.
    Conversely, high ranking Al-queada leaders with knowledge of past and future plans of action against US forces were interrogated for information it was known or highly suspected they had, with guidelines and medical personnel on-hand. The fact that one captive was waterboarded over 170 times is proof that the treatment is not as harsh as the press would want us to believe. He still has his sanity, senses and all extremities.
    Tens of thousands of people around the world, including this writer have experienced the joy of sinus irrigation more than a few times. Performed by a doctor with usually more than one assistant, it is a medical procedure that closely if not exactly mirrors waterboarding in that a sensation of drowning is real. Millions have probably used a Neti Pot to do the irrigation at home.
    Perceived or actual weakness on our part will only embolden our enemies. Interrogation that causes discomfort with no lasting and visible affects, that yields vital information is preferable any day to death and destruction in any country caused by criminals.

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