I just love this rant from Mathew Yglesisa – almost every word is perfect….and it is so true

No One Expects The Spanish Inquisition

Waterboarding2 1

To recap a bit of history, back in the early days of the Bush administration a man named Donald Rumsfeld—deemed one of the worst secretaries of defense in American history
by John McCain—was running the Pentagon. He had a guy working for him
named Marc Thiessen as a speechwriter. This was all when George W Bush
was president, one of the worst in history. In addition to Bush,
Rumsfeld, and Thiessen there were other dimwitted and immoral people in
charge of running the government. One thing that dimwitted and immoral
people do when under pressure is decide that lashing out with a kind of
dimwitted and immoral violence is going to help them. Consequently,
they got the dimwitted and immoral idea that they ought to torture people with techniques they got out of techniques the US government has developed to train soldiers in torture-resistanc

This was a bad idea, so they were warned that it was a bad idea.
Instructor Joseph Witsch told a Pentagon working group on
interrogations “The physical and psychological pressures we apply in
training violate national and international laws … I hope someone is
explaining this to all these folks asking for our techniques and
methodology!” They established a Behavioral Science Consultation Team
at Gitmo that was told “Bottom line: the likelihood that the use of
physical pressures will increase the delivery of accurate information
from a detainee is very low.”

But Marc Thiessen and his friends aren’t very smart and they are
very immoral. They love inflicting violence. So they went ahead and
tortured. One technique they used, waterboarding, bears a great deal of
similarity to the so-called “tormenta de toca” from the Spanish
Inquisition. Since the Spanish Inquisition is famous for its cruelty,
sometimes critics of the kind of dimwitted cruelty beloved by Marc
Thiessen and his pals point out the similarity. But Thiessen doesn’t like this comparison so earlier today he called me out for making it, observing:

Apparently, Yglesias has not bothered to read Courting Disaster.
If he had, he would know better than to make this ridiculous argument.
Even a basic review of the facts makes clear Yglesias is completely

Courting Disaster is Thiessen’s book, and if he wants me to
read it he’ll have to force water down my throat to induce the
sensation of drowning. But having summed that up, we come to Thiessen’s
big point. It turns out that during the Spanish inquisition, in addition to the basic “water cure” elements beloved by Thiessen they also
used “Sharp cords, called cordeles, which cut into the flesh, attached
the arms and legs to the side of the trestle and others, known as
garrotes, from sticks thrust in them and twisted around like a
tourniquet till the cords cut more or less deeply into the flesh, were
twined around the upper and lower arms, the thighs and the calves.” So
you see, it’s totally different—when Thiessen and friends were running the show, they did
tie people down to boards (like in the Spanish Inquisition!) and they
did pour water on them (like in the Spanish Inquisition!) but in the
Spanish version they used the cords to cause additional painful torture whereas in the more refined Bush/Rumsfeld/Thiessen era the water torture itself was deemed sufficient!

And that, my friends, is the advance of civilization over time.

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