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Apr 30 2014

From Reagan to Palin on Torture

Sarah Palin, aka Bible Spice, spoke at the NRA annual meeting last weekend and whipped up her usual combination of half stupid, half morally appalling and all annoying. She actually got wild applause for saying that if she were in charge (how’s that for a frightening thought?), she’d bring back waterboarding in a big way:

Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin (R) defended the controversial enhanced interrogation technique of waterboarding this weekend, and implied that the practice would still be commonplace “if I were in charge.”

“They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,” she said at the National Rifle Association (NRA) annual meeting on Saturday evening, referring to prisoners. “Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”

Yep, that’s Palin. Not a hint of actual thought, just using torture as an applause line. Let’s contrast this to conservative hero Ronald Reagan, who helped negotiate the UN Convention Against Torture and pushed for its adoption by the United States and every other nation. Here’s what he had to say when he sent it to the Senate for ratification:

The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention. It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

The core provisions of the Convention establish a regime for international cooperation in the criminal prosecution of torturers relying on so-called “universal jurisdiction.” Each State Party is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution…

By giving its advice and consent to ratification of this Convention, the Senate of the United States will demonstrate unequivocally our desire to bring an end to the abhorrent practice of torture.

Sarah Palin, on the other hand, leads the cheers for it.

27 comments

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  1. 1
    busterggi

    One of the great controversies in Christianity is how much & how fast can legends be built that bear no resemblance to reality.

    The creation of the myth of St. Ronald ought to end that.

  2. 2
    dugglebogey

    Once we start seeing our enemies as human beings, it stops being fun anymore.

    And when did the word “obviously” start to mean “something I think that can’t be proven?”

  3. 3
    Modusoperandi

    “They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad…”

    It wouldn’t be a hay stack if it didn’t have a needle in it.

  4. 4
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Torture is wrong and so is Sara Palin here.

    This certainly shows how far to the Right – or towards wrong – the Republicans have shifted.

  5. 5
    Michael Heath

    I remain far too optimistic about humanity.

    That’s because I’m shocked this hasn’t gotten way more attention. Instead a racist basketball executive is getting all the press. Even MSNBC was leading with that rather than what Palin stated. To me this utterance should be one the stories of the decade; earned from a number of perspectives.

    I realize Sarah Palin is now a lazy full-time grifter who needs to get some media attention. But let’s not forget that she was the Vice Presidential nominee for the GOP in 2008. Let’s not forget she’s representative of a swath of American Christians that numbers in the low tens of millions of voters and who now controls much of the GOP on many matters. Let’s not forget the ideals that even these Christians [falsely] claim to support.

    Let’s not forget that the biggest motivating factor in attracting al Qaeda recruits to go to Iraq where they killed and maimed many thousands of people. That was the revelation that the Bush Administration was torturing detainees that were predominately Muslim. Killed and maimed U.S. military members that Ms. Palin and other chicken hawks pose as putting on a pedestal.

    So Ms. Palin is advocating that we use the very practice that led to far more deaths and suffering of U.S military personnel in Iraq; just to satisfy some sick perverted and yes, evil desire she has. Just like the Christian god though Palin’s desires here are not nearly as bad since God plans much worse for eternity.

    Let’s also not forget Ms. Palin’s “end-times” Armageddon fantasies. Where she yearned to lead the atrocities. This helps illustrate what that would look like. I’m disappointed this is one of those moments where people never forget the circumstances when they first encountered this utterance, similar to how people recall the same when O.J. was judged not guilty in his criminal trial for the murder of his wife. That doesn’t speak well of us, even liberals.

  6. 6
    eric

    waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists

    You can tell them by their love, by their love….

  7. 7
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    To be fair though it must be noted that Reagun lived in the days pre-911 when there wasn’t the issue of Islamist Jihadist terrorists.

    The threat from the Islamic Jihadists is a very different one to the one Reagun faced with the Soviet Empire so we are comparing apples with chili tacos here.

    I wonder how he would’ve handled them? We’ll never know of course.

  8. 8
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    Baptism is usually(ok, not *always* historically speaking but still) a voluntary action anyhow.

    If terrorists choose to be baptised they wouldn’t be Islamists anymore and so not requiring torture you’d think.

    Sarah Palin is a very poor excuse for a Christian anyhow.

  9. 9
    colnago80

    The Palinator is obviously unaware that Japanese officers and officials who water-boarded POW’s were tried and found guilty of war crimes and hanged.

  10. 10
    fifthdentist

    Most Christian denominations — and the largest branch, Catholicism — only dribble water on people’s head anyway. As far as mainline churches are concerned, the only one that I’m aware of that dunks is SOBs (Southern Baptists). I would imagine the newer fundie churches do as well, but even in the South Methodists, for example, don’t do the full slam dunk for Jesus.

  11. 11
    pocketnerd

    Thus Spake ZaraStevoR, #7:

    To be fair though it must be noted that Reagun lived in the days pre-911 when there wasn’t the issue of Islamist Jihadist terrorists.

    The threat from the Islamic Jihadists is a very different one to the one Reagun faced with the Soviet Empire so we are comparing apples with chili tacos here.

    … because torture is okay when we do it to really bad people.

  12. 12
    Kevin Kehres

    Thanks, Sarah, for giving a whole new generation of Jihadists something to hate America for.

    She’s a walking recruiting poster for al Qaeda. The next terrorist attack is on you, Sarah.

  13. 13
    Crimson Clupeidae

    I think Sarah needs to be re-baptized…..

  14. 14
    moarscienceplz

    @#7 StevoR

    To be fair though it must be noted that Reagun lived in the days pre-911 when there wasn’t the issue of Islamist Jihadist terrorists.

    Tell that to the families of the 299 people killed during the 1983 Beirut marine barracks bombing.

  15. 15
    abb3w

    Representative Ted Poe of Texas made a similar waterboarding=baptism remark back in 2009.

  16. 16
    D. C. Sessions

    Who cares what that RINO Reagan said?

  17. 17
    colnago80

    Re Michael Heath @ #5

    The verdict in the Simpson case was not guilty but, IMHO, that nomenclature is incorrect in American jurisprudence. It should really be not proven as all too many Americans consider a verdict of not guilty to be equivalent to innocent. It is not the case, in no way, shape, form, or regard was Simpson found innocent. He was found not proven because the airhead prosecutors dimwit Darden and meathead Marsha fuckked up the case to a fare thee well.

  18. 18
    colnago80

    Re #14

    In moar fairness, the Beirut bombing didn’t take place on US soil, unlike 9/11.

  19. 19
    dhall

    It makes no difference if the torture was carried out before or after 9/11. Torture is torture. Doesn’t matter if it’s carried out by the Inquisitors, the WWII era Japanese, the Nazis, the US, or anyone else. Saying that it was all right after 9/11 actually undermines one of usual justifications for it by implying that it’s being carried out for reasons of vengeance, not some worthless attempt to “gain information.”

  20. 20
    himurastewie

    Bible Spice. That’s just way too great. It’s as good as Nuremberg Barbie, imo.

  21. 21
    magistramarla

    fifthdentist @ #10,
    I was surprised when my little grandson was totally dunked during his baptism at a Catholic church in Houston. His Mom and her family are from Mexico, so we wondered if this was common there.
    Does anyone here have any experience with this?
    The grandson, who was nine months at the time, laughed and giggled. I think that he thought that the priest was giving him a bath, which is something that he enjoys a great deal.

  22. 22
    lofgren

    I can’t say that I am the World’s Foremost Expert on baptisms but it seems to vary from church to church.

    Possibly the most famous baptistery, the baptistery of St. John in Florence, Italy, has a font for fully submersing infants.

  23. 23
    lorn

    “They obviously have information on plots to carry out Jihad,”

    Funny, all the king’s men in the CIA, NSA, and a half-dozen overlapping military intelligence operations have failed to collectively confirm this. So what does Palin know, and how does she know it? If anyone is to be water boarded it seems we should start with Palin to get to the bottom of how she knows what she claims to know.

  24. 24
    Artor

    Of course, while Saint Ronnie was speaking out so forcefully against torture, his administration still continued to operate the School of the Americas, “…In this period, it educated several Latin American dictators, generations of their military and, during the 1980s, included the uses of torture in its curriculum.”

  25. 25
    caseloweraz

    Palin: “Oh, but you can’t offend [detainees], can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen.”

    I believe that conditions under which detainees are held at Guantánamo have improved since the Bush administration (but I don’t believe they have improved enough.)

    Perhaps Mrs. Palin would be willing to spend a weekend in a simulated Camp X-ray cell — just, you know, to demonstrate how cushy the treatment of detainees is today.

  26. 26
    naturalcynic

    <blockquoteI wonder how he[Reagan] would’ve handled them? We’ll never know of course. Probably the same as he countenanced in El Salvador and Nicaragua.

  27. 27
    naturalcynic

    wonder how he[Reagan] would’ve handled them? We’ll never know of course.

    Probably the same as he countenanced in El Salvador and Nicaragua.

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