DON'T YOU GET IT?  2:37 pm April 21, 2009

Brilliant WaPo Column: CIA Tortured Terrorists To *Help* Them, With Their Religion

by Jim Newell

Thank you for helping me!Former “Bushie” chief speechwriter Marc Thiessen has written another opinion piece in this morning’s Washington Post and, like most WP columns, it is terrible. But lopsidedly so! It starts on the standard torture defense notes — if torture was effective sometimes then how do you deal with THAT, libtards? Would you rather be dead? — but then just has to go a bit further: apparently the CIA knows very much about the Muslim religion, and it turns out that they, the Muslims, want to be tortured, and the interrogators are just trying to help them on their spiritual quest.

If you’re in a hurry, just read the first and last sentences here and ignore the important logic in between.

Critics claim that enhanced techniques do not produce good intelligence because people will say anything to get the techniques to stop. But the memos note that, “as Abu Zubaydah himself explained with respect to enhanced techniques, ‘brothers who are captured and interrogated are permitted by Allah to provide information when they believe they have reached the limit of their ability to withhold it in the face of psychological and physical hardship.” In other words, the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can — and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know. This is because of their belief that “Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable.” The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.

Oh my. If you believe that torturing people to stop big terrorist plots is acceptable, and that these techniques can sometimes work effectively, then fine! These are difficult questions, and much more complex than either side would care to admit! But this: “The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.” That’s a really interesting road map we’ve drawn to someone else’s spiritual liberation! Isn’t it nice that the interrogators were only trying to help the terrorists with their Allah?

Enhanced Interrogations Worked [WP]


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Crow T. Robot April 21, 2009 at 2:39 pm

You’re welcome America!

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 2:40 pm

Weird. The ashram I used to attend just starting employing these selfsame techniques.

Canmon (the Inadequate) April 21, 2009 at 2:41 pm

Thank you sir. May I have another?

Hooray For Anything April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

Somehow, I seriously doubt that’s in the Qu’ran

ManchuCandidate April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I thought that the “They were asking for it” defense went the way of the “I vas only vollowing orderz” defense.

Joshua Norton April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

“I must be cruel only to be kind”
– William Shakespeare
– George Bush

Mr Blifil April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

I’m totally sure Abu Zubaydah said that. Totally.

Texan Bulldoggette April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

No snark. That picture just saddens me.

randem April 21, 2009 at 2:42 pm

And how many virgins does one get for selling out his fellow terrorists?

AngryBlakGuy April 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm

…you dumb libtards! Of course torture helps mooslims with their religion, why else do you think they scream “ALLAH” everytime I stick this electrical cow prod up their asses?

CorkPopper April 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I’m really curious what kind of drugs I would have to take in order for that logic to make sense to me. But since I’m currently sober, I am forced to conclude that Marc Thiessen is a craven moral shitsack.

user-of-owls April 21, 2009 at 2:43 pm

I sincerely hope they use the same logic to justify crucifying the Christian militia members they periodically lay their hands on.

Mr Blifil April 21, 2009 at 2:44 pm

As usual, there are not enough bags of dicks to go around.

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm

[re=295254]Joshua Norton[/re]: – Nick Lowe.

chascates April 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm

Doesn’t Jesus feel the same way for his followers? It’s all good.

Waterboarding for everyone.

bitchincamaro April 21, 2009 at 2:45 pm

My wife tortured me when her biological clock started ticking. I put the whip on her, her belly swelled, and that’s that. TORTURE WERKS, PEOPLES!

Mr Blifil April 21, 2009 at 2:48 pm

[re=295272]bitchincamaro[/re]: If her belly is still big, believe me, the tochure has not yet begun.

Colander April 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

[re=295271]chascates[/re]: I waterboard my cat every time he jumps on the coffee table.

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

[re=295272]bitchincamaro[/re]: As a barrenness, it turns out my biological clock was a bomb.

Scarab April 21, 2009 at 2:49 pm

“The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah”
I was going to write something snarky but that sentence is so crazy it can’t be parodied.

queeraselvis v 2.0 April 21, 2009 at 2:50 pm

So… torture is good because it promotes a higher appreciation of suffering for one’s religion, right? Great… I’m off to Saddleback to help Rick Warren reach a higher plane. BRB.

bitchincamaro April 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm

[re=295274]Mr Blifil[/re]: Believe me, it’ll be 23 years of torture come August 20.

No snark, she’s a lovely human being, but I may be forced to sell my Wonkette stock to pay for the last four years of college.

AngryBlakGuy April 21, 2009 at 2:53 pm

…using that reasoning, then technically the crucifixion of Christ was justified because the Romans were simply helping him get in touch with his spiritual side! With that reasoning, I’m surprised he wasn’t writing legal memos for Dick Cheney.

bitchincamaro April 21, 2009 at 2:54 pm

[re=295278]Custerwolf[/re]: Sometimes renting is the best option.

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

[re=295280]queeraselvis v 2.0[/re]: And speaking of planes, did you hear about the woman who broke her spine when her head hit the bathroom ceiling of a plane due to major turbulence? People, THIS is why I always take my partner into the airline privy with me – it’s for the extra padding. That’s why. Poor ladee.

Prommie April 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

If you listen to Cheney, you pick up something even more mind-boggling. Cheney claims we had to torture because we knew nothing about Al Quaeda. The wierdness, the evil, will hit you when you understand that when Cheney says the word “know,” he means “know because we confirmed it by torturing.” They had lots of information on Al Queada, but you see, they just didn’t beleive it, unless they got it through torture. So it was necessary to torture, because otherwise, Cheney would not believe what you tell him, unless you could preface your statement with “Here’s what we tortured out of him.”

gjdodger April 21, 2009 at 2:55 pm

You should have seen what happened when the Muslin begged his interrogator not to th’ow him into thet thar briar patch!

Egregious April 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm

If you were on the red line this morning and happened to see a man in suit with mouth agape, shaking his head in disbelief all the way between Teneleytown and Metro Center…well that was me! You see, I had just finished reading how Mr. Thiessen equated the application of torture with “helping” someone achieve spiritual enlightenment.

Hey, BTW, do you think they’ll have a Ministry of Love section at the Bush Libary?

Monsieur Grumpe April 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm

[re=295251]Hooray For Anything[/re]:
It’s in the other Qu’ran. The edition edited by Cheney. Now with 3-D pictures!

Glasses cost extra.

proudgrampa April 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm

OMFG. We are so freakin’ doomed.

Prommie April 21, 2009 at 2:56 pm

I bet Bush would have paid attention to that Daily Briefing back in the summer of ’01 if it had said “Torture Evidence Indicates Al Queada Determined to strike in United States.” That would have been all the difference.

hobospacejunkie April 21, 2009 at 2:57 pm

Oh jesus, just how much of a smug fuck, completely disconnected from reality, do you have to be to make an ‘argument’ like this. Holy christ on a cracker, I hope this guy walks down the wrong alley and gets the bejeebus beaten out of him. There is no cure for this. Answer faulty logic with violence.

imissopus April 21, 2009 at 2:58 pm

His mouth said “no no,” but his eyes said “yes yes!”

AllHat April 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

[re=295262]CorkPopper[/re]: ‘I’m really curious what kind of drugs I would have to take in order for that logic to make sense to me.’ For sure. This calls for a scientific study; I volunteer. And Thiessen = shitsack, also.

Mr Blifil April 21, 2009 at 2:59 pm

[re=295286]bitchincamaro[/re]: Which is why I always go short on Wonkette shares, as there is no bottom. Though there is a lot of ass, go figure.

norbizness April 21, 2009 at 3:00 pm

This reminds me of the Curtis Mayfield song, “Don’t Worry, If There’s a Hell Below, Marc Thiessen Is Definitely Gonna Go.”

P Drizzle April 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I think what Thiessen means by “no torture, honor the muslins” is that our men NEVER forced the terrrsts to watch videos of uncovered women driving cars. Or non-muslins taking exit 61 toward Mecca.

TGY April 21, 2009 at 3:03 pm

I reached my spiritual side after only two years of W, but America decided to make *really* sure. That’s the thing about torture dosage: sometimes it’s ‘overkill’.

groove April 21, 2009 at 3:05 pm

I wonder if by “safely,” the author was trying to say “without innocent casualties,” since one might infer that an Islamic terrorist’s duty to Allah typically involves killing innocent people.

MarieDeGournay April 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm


AngryBlakGuy April 21, 2009 at 3:06 pm

…why do they keep on trying to justify torture with all these dip-shyt lines of reasoning? Fukk, why don’t they just come out and say they are bunch sadistic twisted fukks that like to strap jumper cables to detainees testicles? Better to look sadistic than mentally challenged.

Crab1 April 21, 2009 at 3:07 pm

It’s in the Quoran (ie Muslim Bible) that torture is the only reason to snitch.

102415 April 21, 2009 at 3:10 pm

[re=295287]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: Don’t forget the Spanish Inquistion which did totally work and is still popular with some Catholics. Witch torture is good too. Dump them in the water and if they drown they are saved if not then they must be burned win win all around.
I’m starting to like the ads maybe I can find a wife for my cousin’s idiot stepson he refused Ann C and Sarah P he keeps asking for that Campbell Brown or the T shirt girl.

lulzmonger April 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

The “Jesus Uber Alles” crowd has been peddling that exact same line since I was a child – but for them, persecution = not getting The Ten Commandments printed on all government buildings. If they honestly beleive that’s harsh, I think most of them would convert pretty fast once they got strapped to the waterboard for some Drowning Therapy.

“The CIA – We’re Here To Help.”

So I guess that means the CIA supported the Mujahedeen with weapons & training in the 1980s to help them martyr themselves into their “Virgins-R-Us” paradise on 9/11 too. Talk about taking Faith-Based Initiatives too far. If only they hadn’t been quite so helpful. Logical conclusions are a bitch.

sezme April 21, 2009 at 3:11 pm

He tortures me with his logic.

McDuff April 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

I recall a Washington Post article several years ago in which a DC dominatrix related how many of her clients were “powerful” men who made life and death decisions but who also seemed to have an unconscious need to be punished for it — now I know who at least one of those men was.

ShamWow April 21, 2009 at 3:13 pm

[re=295287]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: and Judas was actually a saint for selling Jesus to the Romans for our sins.

One Yield Regular April 21, 2009 at 3:15 pm

“Their methods of interrogation are devastating to the muddle-minded – ninety percent of us, whatever class we belong to. It’s easy to make a man confess the lies he tells to himself; it’s far harder to make him confess the truth. And when by their technique the truth has been dragged from him, he is so plastic and demoralized he will accept any interpretation the questioner chooses to put upon it. The process is equally immoral and effective whether used by psycho-analysts or by secret police. They make us see our own motives, and in the horror of that exposure we are ready to confess to any enormity.” – Geoffrey Household, “Rogue Male,” 1939.

Anonymous Office Zombie April 21, 2009 at 3:16 pm

Only a bona fide Conservatard would look back to Inquisition logic for guidance. Kudos to Marc for being the real deal.

102415 April 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

[re=295318]Crab1[/re]: Oh sure, and the bible says to pay yer taxes and don’t charge interest on a debt.We see how that one worked with the same deciders and teabaggers. Goodbye, I have to go out and buy some more useless crap and save your economy. You’re welcome.

SayItWithWookies April 21, 2009 at 3:17 pm

Did anyone ever read that Jack London story “Lost Face?” This is the same thing, only the CIA are the duped Eskimo chiefs. Also, Thiessen has set a new low for intelligence among Dubya’s speechwriters — which is quite a feat considering his predecessors were David Frum and Michael Gerson.

Gallowglass April 21, 2009 at 3:21 pm

[re=295291]Prommie[/re]: Rome had a similar system. The testimony of slaves was not considered admissable in court unless it was extracted under torture. Of course, maybe they were just helping then get right with Jupiter.

youknew April 21, 2009 at 3:29 pm

The Inquistion, what a show. The Inquisition, here we go!

Min April 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm

Actually, the Shia have a specific religious principle (I can’t remember the word for it, read it in Robert Baer’s new book) that allows them, even encourages them, to lie in the service of the faith. Maybe Sunnis are different, but I doubt it.

Besides, torture isn’t really about the person being tortured. It’s all about the person doing the torturing.

Snarxon's Holler April 21, 2009 at 3:30 pm

As we dance to the Masochism Tango …

Hooray For Anything April 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm

[re=295339]Anonymous Office Zombie[/re]: Well, the inquisition was actually a pretty fun place with lots of dancing, singing, and swimming nuns. What’s so wrong with that?

Gallowglass April 21, 2009 at 3:41 pm

[re=295379]Min[/re]: Takafir, although I’m not sure if that is the appropriate transliteration. Living as infidels, in order to confuse the infidel.

True enough. I can’t imagine torture being carried out without imagining Joe the Plumber doing it. Just cold standin’ there with a cattle prod, a bucket of water and throbbing erection.

TeddyS April 21, 2009 at 3:42 pm

Perhaps Marc Thiessen would like to be water-boarded 266 times, rolled up in a sleeping bag and beaten to death with a flashlight or pushed off a bridge. We did all that and more, dammit. What a proud time the likes of Thiessen gave us.

chascates April 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm

I’ve read rumors that Justice Scalia sometimes wears barbed wire around his rotund self as part of the Opus Dei tomfoolery. That explains his fondness for the CIA’s ‘non torture’ torturing.

dave666 April 21, 2009 at 3:49 pm

Torture is a great tool for extracting false confessions, which was the point of the inquisition and the Nazis, but as a tool of intellignece, its crappy.

proudgrampa April 21, 2009 at 3:51 pm

[re=295385]Hooray For Anything[/re]: That made my day.

Hart88 April 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm

So we’ve gone from “we don’t torture” to “torture works, bitches!”


SayItWithWookies April 21, 2009 at 3:55 pm

[re=295412]dave666[/re]: But even under the Inquisition the defendant had to reaffirm the confession that he/she made under torture. So we’re actually holding to a lesser standard than Torquemada.

Bearbloke April 21, 2009 at 4:14 pm

[re=295382]Snarxon’s Holler[/re]: You mean ‘The Masochism Tango’ by the great Tom Lehrer, right?

Mad Farmer Manifest April 21, 2009 at 4:53 pm

[re=295245]Custerwolf[/re]: Which ashram is that?

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 5:04 pm

[re=295515]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]: It was the Kashi Ashram. But I got kicked out for going against their 7 whole grains.

Capitol Hillbilly April 21, 2009 at 5:10 pm

[re=295339]Anonymous Office Zombie[/re]: That must be why the Post has run three columns by him in the last three months. One former Bush hack (Gerson) just isn’t enough. Anybody who talks about the “liberal media” has had one too many teabags.

qwerty42 April 21, 2009 at 5:23 pm

[re=295287]AngryBlakGuy[/re]: [re=295325]ShamWow[/re]: See Three Versions of Judas by Jorge Luis Borges. Borges’s short story does that, in his usual odd way.

AnnieGetYourFun April 21, 2009 at 5:27 pm

Wow, International Muslim Matrimonials ad! What’s awesome is that, back when I was a Muslim, I’m pretty sure I used that site. It’s a bunch of sexually frustrated men who are looking for pictures of unveiled women to tell them what whores they are.

Also, it’s a great idea to take what Zubayda says to be the ultimate authority on what Islam is all about.

Mad Farmer Manifest April 21, 2009 at 5:46 pm

[re=295539]Custerwolf[/re]: Buh dum bum, crash!

bitchincamaro April 21, 2009 at 5:47 pm

We tortured our own people in the Superdome; why wouldn’t we do it to some anonymous sand people?

SpirolinaAgnew April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm

Greatest self-serving logic since “burning witches gives them a chance at salvation”.

Mad Farmer Manifest April 21, 2009 at 5:49 pm

They should get an Op-Ed column from the Fox News reporter who could only take a few seconds of waterboarding. Maybe he can explain why he isn’t patriotic enough to endure as much torture as that old Muslim man.

Everytime I read someone justifying it or saying waterboarding isn’t torture, I think “try it out, tough guy.” Surely ‘BigJohn’ from CNN’s comments is going to laugh off some simulated drowning.

Numbat Dundee April 21, 2009 at 5:55 pm

Whatever happened to: “This is going to hurt me a lot more than it will hurt you”?

smitallica April 21, 2009 at 6:08 pm

Which is why the interrogators were always careful to point the waterboard toward Mecca.

Cape Clod April 21, 2009 at 6:08 pm

I really want NASA to hurry up and find an earth-like exo-planet. After reading the drivel written by this massive shithead, I want to get off this one.

qwerty42 April 21, 2009 at 6:12 pm

Everyone needs to step back and consider the real issues. From Sullivan:
While some of us were trying to absorb the full facts of the Bush-Cheney torture program, which rested on a claim of total extra-constitutional power of the president to suspend habeas corpus, detain anyone in the US without charges, and torture them, Jonah Goldberg was writing a book called “Liberal Fascism.” Even now, he is conducting interesting discussions on whether taxation in a representative democracy could be described as “tyranny.” After a single stimulus package and three months of Obama, Fox News is predicting fascism….
Sullivan links to, and it is worth reading, Philip Zelikow’s article at Foreign Policy, The OLC “torture memos”: thoughts from a dissenter.

qwerty42 April 21, 2009 at 6:17 pm

[re=295634]qwerty42[/re]: well, darn, didn’t mention the realissues: fascist librulz!!! ’nuff said!

bitchincamaro April 21, 2009 at 6:23 pm

[re=295626]Cape Clod[/re]: Stay right where you are. It’s the massive shitheads who need to get extraterrestrial.

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 6:27 pm

Thanks alot Mr.Thiessen. Here’s what reading aloud your twisted logic has done to my beloved Tater.

Czn939 April 21, 2009 at 6:29 pm

[re=295606]Mad Farmer Manifest[/re]:
Apparently every CIA operative has to undergo waterboarding as part of their training.
Average duration till cracking: less than 14 seconds.

Cape Clod April 21, 2009 at 7:40 pm

[re=295655]bitchincamaro[/re]: Nah, let’s start over on a fresh one and leave the shitheads to finish turning this one into a dog turd.

hobospacejunkie April 21, 2009 at 7:48 pm

[re=295660]Custerwolf[/re]: Holy christ is that a dog? Ha ha ha!

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 8:07 pm

[re=295777]hobospacejunkie[/re]: I just took that picture this afternoon.

Neon Trotsky April 21, 2009 at 8:25 pm

I’m reminded of the movie Kiss of the Dragon where there is a scene in which a hooker asks a Chinese gangster “You want to go to heaven?” to which he replies “Yes, take me to heaven!” Then she stabs him, Jet Li runs into the room, and my memory gets hazy from there. All in all, if it’s in a Jet Li movie, it probably makes for good national security policy…

Custerwolf April 21, 2009 at 8:36 pm

[re=295814]Neon Trotsky[/re]: Jet Li is hot.

That is all.

PsycGirl April 21, 2009 at 9:13 pm

Apologists continue their attempts to top “We had to destroy the village in order to save it”.

Darkness April 21, 2009 at 9:24 pm

[re=295428]Hart88[/re]: That’s because we’ve lost the Living-In-Denialer in Chief.

ICBN April 21, 2009 at 11:04 pm

This is ridiculous. Even if the Koran does say something to that effect (which isn’t that unlikely, really; I’ve seen similar things in other religions), it still doesn’t mean that the interrogatee can’t lie. The levels of idiocy here are as layered as a Russian Matryoshka doll.

mr. wunnerful April 22, 2009 at 2:08 am

Our moral authority.

Boojum April 22, 2009 at 4:45 am

[re=295379]Min[/re]: Taqiyya, it is called, and it is the hiding of one’s religious identity as a muslin in the face of persecution, i.e., B. Hussein Nobama pretending not to be a Muslin Terrist. Also.

Nenya April 22, 2009 at 7:42 am

If the Qu’ran does say that, that just means it’s more humane than our interrogators. Giving someone an out under extreme pressure vs. laughing at people who are being tortured? Ah, but our Christians are so much better than your Muslims! *facepalm*

jimmynail April 22, 2009 at 8:21 am

I like that even Newell couldn’t find anything funny to say about this. Holy shit.

MahFL April 22, 2009 at 1:18 pm

Thing is normal ops for terrorist movement is to work in “cells”. Capturing one won’t easily lead you to another.
Special Ops troops don’t even tell each other which “jobs” they are working on for the very same reason.
So torturing them ad infinitem is pointless.

zhubajie April 22, 2009 at 8:32 pm

Think about what might go on in Fundamentalist private schools or home schools.

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie April 22, 2009 at 8:38 pm

[re=295379]Min[/re]: Taqiya. Sunnis don’t do it.

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie April 22, 2009 at 8:40 pm

You know, I had thought I was pretty cynical, that my opinion of my fellow Americans, Team GOP variety, could not get lower. But this whole torture memo thing and especially the defenses for torture, have showm I was wrong.

Torturers: you are the bad guys. When we put you in jail for life, it will be self-defense.

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie April 22, 2009 at 8:41 pm

[re=295814]Neon Trotsky[/re]: Jet Li is a subject of the Middle Kingdom.

Zhu Bajie

zhubajie April 22, 2009 at 8:44 pm

[re=295412]dave666[/re]: Friedrich von Spee, _Cautio Criminalis_, documented this thoroughly, early 17th century. U. of Virginia has just published the first English translation.

Zhu Bajie

Barcode of the Apocalypse February 12, 2010 at 5:58 pm

John McCain is hereby excused for blabbing his head off.

heathenish February 12, 2010 at 10:07 pm

And Jesus wept. or if not I did. we suck.

kudzu February 13, 2010 at 8:44 am

Canada definitely looks like a pretty good place to live. I hope they treat wetbacks coming from their southern border better than we do. If so, I’m thinking about heading north.

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