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

  don't you get it?

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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Jim Newell is Wonkette's beloved Capitol Hill Typing Demon. He joined Wonkette.com in 2007, left for some other dumb job in 2010, and proudly returned in 2012 as our "Senior Editor at Large." He lives in Washington and also writes for things such as The Guardian, the Manchester paper of liberals.

View all articles by Jim Newell

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102 comments

  1. ManchuCandidate

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

  2. AngryBlakGuy

    …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?

  3. CorkPopper

    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.

  4. user-of-owls

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

  5. chascates

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

    Waterboarding for everyone.

  6. bitchincamaro

    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!

  7. Mr Blifil

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

  8. Custerwolf

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

  9. Scarab

    “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.

  10. queeraselvis v 2.0

    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.

  11. bitchincamaro

    [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.

  12. AngryBlakGuy

    …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.

  13. Custerwolf

    [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.

  14. Prommie

    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.”

  15. gjdodger

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

  16. Egregious

    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?

  17. Monsieur Grumpe

    [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.

  18. Prommie

    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.

  19. hobospacejunkie

    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.

  20. AllHat

    [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.

  21. Mr Blifil

    [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.

  22. norbizness

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

  23. P Drizzle

    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.

  24. TGY

    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’.

  25. groove

    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.

  26. AngryBlakGuy

    …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.

  27. 102415

    [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.

  28. lulzmonger

    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.

  29. McDuff

    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.

  30. ShamWow

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

  31. One Yield Regular

    “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.

  32. Anonymous Office Zombie

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

  33. 102415

    [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.

  34. SayItWithWookies

    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.

  35. Gallowglass

    [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.

  36. Min

    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.

  37. Hooray For Anything

    [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?

  38. Gallowglass

    [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.

  39. TeddyS

    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.

  40. chascates

    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.

  41. dave666

    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.

  42. SayItWithWookies

    [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.

  43. Custerwolf

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

  44. Capitol Hillbilly

    [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.

  45. AnnieGetYourFun

    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.

  46. bitchincamaro

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

  47. SpirolinaAgnew

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

  48. Mad Farmer Manifest

    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.

  49. Numbat Dundee

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

  50. smitallica

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

  51. Cape Clod

    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.

  52. qwerty42

    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.

  53. qwerty42

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

  54. bitchincamaro

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

  55. Czn939

    [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.

  56. Cape Clod

    [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.

  57. Neon Trotsky

    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…

  58. PsycGirl

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

  59. ICBN

    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.

  60. Nenya

    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*

  61. MahFL

    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.

  62. zhubajie

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

    Zhu Bajie

  63. zhubajie

    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

  64. zhubajie

    [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

  65. kudzu

    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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