Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Pure Torture

As Mickey takes time to tackle the most pressing issue regarding the American use of torture -- the morality the effectiveness the legality the consequences the crippling effect on the rule of law whether Obama made an "embarrassing error" in relying on Andrew Sullivan's account of the British treatment of detainees in WWII -- it's worth remembering the potential political consequences of all this scrutiny:

From today's perspective it certainly looks as if the legalistic particulars of Bush's anti-terror demarche--i.e. making an issue of Democratic resistance on semi-torture, trial rights, surveillance, etc.--might actually help the GOPs, doesn't it? ... Voters could still be reminded that Democrats generally are too ACLU-friendly for their taste.

[Are you cheaply taking an ancient item out of context to make Mickey's analysis look idiotic? National security was a big issue in 2002! -- ed. Try again! ... 2004? -- ed. Nope! Mickey thought that torture was an electoral winner in ... September 2006! (scroll up a little) In fairness, Mickey was also speculating that Bush secretly wanted the Democrats to retake Congress so he could pass Comprehensive Immigration more easily and that Hillary might not run in 2008, so this is really only the third- or fourth-stupidest bit of uninformed musing from that week.]

Mickey's Bizarro-Nate-Silver-routine aside, I wouldn't have thought that the current torture revelations would lead to this: Mickey, backed up by the ridiculous Tom Maguire, engaging in an increasingly arcane slap-fight with Sullivan, himself backed up by the beyond-parody-at-this-point Hitch (which is pretty solid evidence against Sullivan here, right?), about Churchill and British detainee policy. Really, though, what else should I have expected?

I mean, if you can't take stinging insects on a detainee's face and somehow turn it into an opportunity for a cheap shot at a former co-worker with whom you've had a pointless decades-long feud, do you really deserve to be blogging?