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Donald Trump picks the best people! And he has decided that the best person to represent the United States to the nation of Australia is Admiral Harry B. Harris.

The statement given by the White House about the appointment describes Harris as a “[a] highly decorated, combat proven Naval officer with extensive knowledge, leadership and geo-political expertise in the Indo-Pacific region, he graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1978 and was designated a naval flight officer in 1979.”

Oh, well! That sounds lovely, doesn’t it? Except that it does neglect to mention a rather important item on Harris’ resumé — the part where he was a Guantanamo Bay commander with a pretty sketchy human rights record.

Back in 2006, when Harris was in charge of Gitmo, three prisoners — Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi al-Utaybi, Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed al-Salami and Yasser Talal al Zahrani — all died in custody. Their deaths were reported as suicides.

Here is what Admiral Harris had to say about that:

“They are smart, they are creative, they are committed,” Admiral Harris said. “They have no regard for life, neither ours nor their own. I believe this was not an act of desperation, but an act of asymmetrical warfare waged against us.”

The gist, in his view, was that the prisoners who committed suicide (and were being indefinitely held without having been charged with a crime) did so to make the United States look mean. One could say that the very existence of Guantanamo Bay did their work for them, but clearly Harris did not see it that way.

The thing is… it is pretty likely that those prisoners did not actually commit suicide, but rather died while being tortured.

Via The Guardian:

However, a subsequent report by the centre for policy and research of Seton Hall University School of Law, under the supervision of its director, Professor Mark Denbeaux, attorney for two Guantanamo detainees, pointed to numerous inconsistencies in the official accounts of these deaths. The report suggested there had either been gross negligence or an attempt to cover up homicides of the men, perhaps owing to torture under interrogation.

In 2010, Harper’s Magazine published a story suggesting the three prisoners had died as a result of accidental manslaughter during a torture session, and that the official account was a cover-up.

Additionally, it was during Harris’ tenure at Guantanamo that it became policy to force-feed prisoners going on hunger strikes — a practice that is considered an assault on human dignity by both the American Medical Association and the World Medical Association.

So basically this guy is awesome at torture. I suppose we should be glad that he is no longer in charge of Guantanamo Bay — but it sure seems pretty gross to have someone involved with that shit representing our interests abroad. And why him? Are we planning to go to war with Australia? Aside from Mel Gibson, what did Australia do to deserve this guy?

[The Guardian]

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  • Belasaurius

    wasn’t Mel Gibson born in the US? Hold on, yes, in Peekskill NY where he lived until he was 12

  • lucidamente
  • Ellie

    “…what did Australia do to deserve this guy?”
    Rupert Murdoch, Ken Ham.

    • Belasaurius

      giant fucking spiders

      • Ellie

        Murdoch and Ham? They certainly are.

        • kareemachan

          YES

  • armed_bears

    If you’d like, ignore the suffering inflicted on, and damage done to, the prisoners.

    Any rational review of the impact of Gitmo on members of the JTF, and on the UCMJ folks involved, demonstrates it is a cancer. It should go, whatever your view of the prisoners, for the benefit of the services, of the soldiers and sailors statined there, and for our national honor.

  • spangled

    I mean, the White House chief of staff was in charge of Guantanomo, I’ll think we’ll see a lot more of these cretins popping up in the trump admin

    • spangled

      John Kelly is virulently pro-torture and “Testified in support of an officer caught urinating on talibani corpses.”

      • HazooToo

        Great, because that’s exactly the sort of thing he’d want the enemy doing to our lost soldiers, isn’t it?

        • handyhippie65

          yea, it’s like the geneva convention isn’t to prevent what we can do to our enemies,but to prevent what they can do to us. who’da thunk it?

  • janecita

    Australia isn’t a paragon of human rights either, Manus Island comes to mind. This guy will fit right in.

  • Scooby

    I got $50 says Trump thinks he’s going to need lederhosen and a dirndl.

    • Msgr_MΩment

      “There were good people on both sides of the Anschluss.”

  • memzilla Ω

    The ability of this maladministration to unerringly appoint ALL THE WORST PEOPLE to positions of power and influence is truly astonishing.

    • puredog

      I think you give the Administration too much credit. These are low-grade misdemeanant loser weasels, not “The Worst People.” They are more like “The Most Mediocre People.”

  • GreenGoldSharpie

    Gee, it’s almost like being a complete shithead actually gets you places with terrible people.

  • Cletus Safari

    For no good reason except Australia was mentioned:

    “Crikey! This is a big ‘un, mate!”

    https://i.imgur.com/ZujEJnZ.jpg

    • Msgr_MΩment

      Well, at least they saved her from the dingoes and the didgery doos.

      • Cletus Safari

        Not to mention the billabongs. You do NOT want to deal with a swarm of angry billabongs.

        • kareemachan

          Damn. Why did you make me laugh here?

        • rg9rts

          Can I have a hit off your bong?

    • Nockular cavity

      Is that…a Steve Irving anime schoolgirl? Crikey, mate!

      • Cletus Safari

        No “g”, mate, but fair dinkum it’s Steve Irwin, with Tsukasa Hiiragi of Lucky Star.

        May he rest in peace in Raspberry Heaven.

  • Msgr_MΩment

    Ambassador presents credentials:
    “Awright, Bruce, are ye a poofter?”

    • Cletus Safari

      There is NOOOO–Rule 6!

  • schmannity

    Australia: I did not Sydney coming

  • UnsaltedSinner

    I wonder if he beats his wife.

    • janecita

      We might have found Hope Hicks’ next boyfriend.

    • schmannity

      Wife or meat, Trumpee. Pees are either abusers or wankers–lookin at you Miller

  • so, when are we nuking Australia?

    • Amy!

      We’ll save Australia—don’t wanna hurt no kangaroos!
      We’ll build an all-American amusement park there! They got surfing, too!

    • Clark_Nova

      The Brits already did. Killed a metric shit-ton of Aboriginal people in the process.

  • CeeQ

    Sorry but Australia has its own shameful and disgusting human rights record when it comes to our own migrant & refugee “offshore processing” policies. That is – forcibly moving human beings from one island detention center to another then forgetting about them. To make it worse – the islands are in Papua New Guinea, not Australian islands. It’s the fucking worse.

    Maybe this association with Gitmo General and his sketchy past will bring more media spotlight and attention back to the Australian government’s inhuman treatment of detainees and refugees on Manus and Nauru island. It has to stop!!!

    https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/02/manus-island-australia-abandons-refugees-to-a-life-of-uncertainty-and-peril/

    • janecita

      Thank you! I said the same thing before, Australia’s human rights record is shameful.

      • CeeQ

        It makes me physically ill when I read about Manus and Nauru. And despite mass protests back home – the fucking conservative coalition does nothing. Not shocked but still – fucking assholes.

        • james crubb

          Yes they are sickening places but Labor pretty much gives a approving nod and silently acquiesces knowing a lot of people support the concentration camps.
          Such a tiny number of people represent a illogical fear though 30% of Australians are Atheists and hence not too welcoming to people who think we are shit.

          • Linda

            Google pays me 99 US dollars per hour to complete some internet services on the internet .. Labor Some few hours & live happy greater time with your circle of relatives … Any person can also apply this best career!!!this Thursday I bought a gorgeous Car just after earnin $7919 this last five weeks .it’s certainly the extraordinary approach but you can now not forgive yourself if you don’t look this.!wg623n:➽➽➽ http://GoogleAllMakeMoneyOnTheInternet/getpay/$99/perhour ♥♥y♥♥t♥♥♥u♥c♥♥j♥♥♥w♥♥♥f♥d♥♥t♥♥♥q♥♥a♥p♥♥t♥♥z♥♥m♥r♥♥♥r♥♥t♥♥♥v♥♥s♥f♥♥♥r♥d♥r♥♥♥z:::::!sh293i:wky

          • CeeQ

            Labor has been a disappointment for many years.

        • Clark_Nova

          Wasn’t Nauru one of the lickspittle ‘nations’ that voted with the US to move the embassy to Jerusalem?

  • handyhippie65

    we can only hope australia expels him, but seeing as how they treat their aboriginal population, i doubt it. not that we have treated our native population any better. i’ve always wanted to track down my great grandmother’s people, to see if any still survive. the trail of tears was not kind to the cherokee.

    • kareemachan

      :-(

    • rg9rts

      Maybe he’ll do a side trip to New Guinea and meet Rockefeller’s friends

  • OrG

    O/T Anyone know the location of the Portland soiree?

  • Nounverb911

    I read on the internets that Harris wants to move the embassy to Manus Island so he can continue his hobby of torturing people.

    • weejee

      Or perhaps Port Arthur down in Tassie?

      • sarahjane1912

        Beautiful spot; horrible history. Not just for convicts, but … well, as the site of the massacre in 1996 which resulted in guns being all but banned in Oz. Bloody great for the country, but I shouldn’t imagine it’s a spot conservative US types would like. ;)

  • Sheepshagger

    Hey. It’s just an allegation.

    • schmannity

      He’s strongly denied it so I don’t care what independent witnesses say. Won’t somebody think of the Rear Torture Admirals?

  • Covfefe

    Wasn’t Donald’s infamous first telephone call with the Australian prime minister, at least in part, about whether Trump would 1,250 to 2,000 refugees off Australia’s hands, as promised by Obama? https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/aug/04/full-transcript-of-trumps-phone-call-with-australian-prime-minister-malcolm-turnbull Does this choice have anything to do with that phone call?

    • Opalescent Riddles

      Probably.

    • sarahjane1912

      We all thought that Drumpf was confused. And that he seriously thought he was having a tanty because he was talking about accepting refugees from AUSTRIA, not Australia …

  • kareemachan

    gee, he seems nice

  • The Wanderer

    Perhaps, when America meets the rolling, incandescent tsunami of karmic backlash that is moving inexorably toward it, some few of us will be spared.

  • rg9rts

    Another Military Moron

  • Miles Monroe

    Vegemite–that’s what they did to deserve it.

    Paul Hogan, also too.

  • JohnBull

    This is the kind of guy who would go to Australia, drive on the right and damn near kill someone in oncoming traffic, and blame them.

  • Scooby

    Crocodile Harris is just some Yahoo and isn’t at all Serious.

  • Azazael

    Is it wrong to hope for a severe flu outbreak at Mar A Lago and the White House?

    • Nounverb911

      Yes.

      • Azazael

        Well I guess I am in the wrong

    • HazooToo

      Your name is my fucking Battlenet login. But kind of. Just don’t put it into words.

    • JohnBull

      I’m hoping for something more spectacular, but beggars can’t be choosers.

    • schmannity

      Yes and so is projectile diarehhia, no matter how fervently wished or entertaining

    • Nockular cavity

      I say no, because it’s in the thoughts ‘n’ prayers category of pointlessness. I will join you in your hopes!

    • Clark_Nova

      Ebola or Marburg’s would be better.

  • Me_And_My_Arrow

    Trump must really hate Australia.

    • Nounverb911

      Don’t their toilets flush the wrong way?

      • Shanzgood (18 Days!)

        What could be the wrong way other than up?

        • Daniel

          You’ve answered your own question.

  • Magma Cardhole jesterpunk
    • SayItWithWookies

      Southern New Hampshire University — once again illustrating the bright vision for-profit colleges have for this country.

  • Rasilom

    Vegimite. I hold them responcible for that atrosity inflicted on humanity.

    • Shanzgood (18 Days!)

      I like Bovril.

      • Rasilom

        Don’t worry, we won’t hold it against you.

        • Shanzgood (18 Days!)

          Also Marmite. I think that’s the one I meant.

          I can’t eat it now, though. It would make me very, very sick.

          • Daniel

            Marmite is better than Vegemite. The latter is a poor copy if the former.

          • Clark_Nova

            Best on buttered rye toast.

          • PubOption

            Marmite was made from, amongst other things, spent brewery yeast. Boddington’s in Manchester used to send them material, and I imagine many other breweries did also.

  • Nounverb911

    Is Harris a suspect in this yet?

    https://twitter.com/smh/status/962340548362285056

  • Asterix

    Once again, only the best people work for trumpy.

  • HazooToo

    I still can’t seem to get over his excuse that people KILLED THEMSELVES in a scheme to make him look bad.

    • Robyn Ryan

      He is running government like a business.

  • Dept. of Space Tacos

    OT: The court has spoken, the Oxford Comma reigns supreme! OXFORD COMMA 2018!

    A lack of an Oxford comma cost dairy $5 million

    By Lindsay Benson

    Updated 10:14 PM ET, Fri February 9, 2018

    (CNN)A group of Maine dairy delivery drivers will receive $5 million in a proposed settlement for unpaid overtime, according to court records filed on Thursday.

    A judge ruled in the drivers’ favor last March, and it was all thanks to the lack of an Oxford comma in a Maine labor law.

    An Oxford comma is the comma used after the second-to-last item in a list of three or more things, “item A, item B, and item C.” It’s not often used in journalism.

    The drivers’ employer had claimed they were exempt from overtime pay, according to Maine’s labor laws.

    Part of the law exempts certain tasks from receiving overtime compensation. This is what the law’s guidelines originally stated about exempted tasks:

    The canning, processing, preserving, freezing, drying, marketing, storing, packing for shipment or distribution of:

    (1) Agricultural produce;

    (2) Meat and fish products; and

    (3) Perishable foods.

    Without the Oxford comma, the line “packing for shipment or distribution,” could be referring to packing and shipping as a single act, or as two separate tasks.

    The drivers argued that it reads as a single act, and since they didn’t actually do any packing, they shouldn’t have been exempt from overtime pay.

    “Specifically, if that [list of exemptions] used a serial comma to mark off the last of the activities that it lists, then the exemption would clearly encompass an activity that the drivers perform,” the circuit judge wrote.

    According to court documents, the dairy, while denying any wrongdoing, believed further litigation would be protracted and expensive. The proposed settlement will be considered by a federal judge.

    To prevent anymore Oxford comma drama, the Maine Legislature has since edited this exemption, replacing the punctuation with semicolons.

    • Marion in Savannah

      YAY!!! The Oxford Comma Rules! As it should.

      (As in “For breakfast I had eggs, biscuits and orange juice.” I’ve never really thought that the combination of biscuits and orange juice did justice to either, to say nothing of nasty soggy biscuits and lumpy orange juice.)

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        amen…

    • altleftjohn

      From Steven Pinker’s “The Sense of Style:”

      Among those interviewed were Merle Haggard’s two ex-wives, Kris Kristofferson and Robert Duvall.

      This book is dedicated to my parents, Ayn Rand and God.

      Highlights of Peter Ustinov’s global tour include encounters with Nelson Mandela, an 800-year-old demigod and a dildo collector.

      • Smoke O’Hontas

        Pinker is brilliant! Also too, long live the Oxford comma!

    • Smoke O’Hontas

      This is the best news I’ve heard since Mueller dropped the first indictments in October.

    • Riley Whodat Venable

      “Eats, shoots, and leaves.”

    • data_ninja

      Will this affect prison sentences?

  • goonemeritus

    Has he beaten his wife enough to have credibility in this administration?

    • Jonny On Maui

      Wife? Beard…

    • Dudleydidwrong

      Wife’s name is Brunhilde Kempf. Sounds like a villainess in a lost Wagnerian opera who wanders around the stage singing “Deutschland Über Alles” while the tenor is seducing the soprano.

      • The Wanderer

        “My wife likes to listen to Wagner in the evenings.”
        — Francis Urquhart (Sir Ian Richardson), House of Cards (UK)

      • Villago Delenda Est

        “Springtime for Hitler”.

        • Riley Whodat Venable

          “Don’t be stupid be a shmarty, come and join the Nazi party.”

  • Nockular cavity

    They deserve it for the dingoes that ate my baby.

  • Dudleydidwrong

    I would hope the Aussies reject Harris and are pissed even more at the US for this insult, but I’m also betting that there are some very angry ‘roos, dingos, crocs, and wombats. Especially wombats. They’ve never forgiven us for allowing Trump to wear one of them on his misshapen head.

  • Toomush Stability

    What could go wrong….is the big scary monster afraid of a little…fire?…

  • Covfefe

    But then New Zealand got Scott Brown.

  • Mike Minden

    I hate, hate, HATE being put in the position of defending somebody associated with the Trump regime, but….

    The deceased were violent religious fanatics from a movement that embraces suicide attacks as a weapon. The knee jerk assumption that they did not committ suicide is misguided (and frankly puzzling).

    As an atheist, I proudly despise religious fanatics of all kinds. The willingness of some progressives to give Islam a free pass frankly pisses me off. Evil is evil regardless of what religion is behind it. Islamic crack-pots should be held to the same standard as their Christian counterparts.

    Flame away.

    • Daniel

      Explain who gave Islam a free pass.

    • Daniel

      Offer evidence they were in fact “violent religious fanatics”.

    • Cletus Safari

      Why flame, when I can simply block?

      Have a nice life, Mike.

    • Daniel

      As an atheist I find your pride embarrassing and your straw man laughable.

    • Johnatx

      Hey Mike. God bless you.

      • Marion in Savannah

        Also too, bless his heart.

        • Johnatx

          Of course. I was going to tell him to go fuck himself, but I figured a God bless would more likely piss him off

    • Jonny On Maui

      Are you defending gitmo? Sounds that way…

      • Mike Minden

        On the contrary, I firmly disagree with holding people without trial. The prisoners there should either recieve a fair, public trial, or be released for lack of evidence.

        • Jonny On Maui

          Okay. So, like Daniel asks, who do you think has given Islam a free pass? And if gitmo is wrong, what about the people who continue to support the evil that goes on there?

        • Daniel

          But if they kill themselves in custody you are sure they were guilty of being religious fanatics and evil.

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            ayup – and it’s understandable to be puzzled about that – given they’re being held without trial, chance of a trial, or a sentence that they can deduct days against.

            Weird that.

    • Nockular cavity

      “Knee jerk assumption” =/ “published reports from Seton Hall University and Harper’s.”

    • Daniel

      Can you name a Christian fanatic currently incarcerated without due process in a prison that is run by the US military with a history of torture and human rights violations?

      If not, then you are not actually asking for Islamic extremists to be treated the same as Christian extremists.

    • The Wanderer

      They were in our custody. That entails upon us certain obligations and duties – not the least of which is the duty to keep them from harming themselves, and to keep us from harming them.
      Where I work, a successful suicide marks a failure on the staff’s part.

      • Johnatx

        This.

      • Mike Minden

        That is About the only sensible and on point response in this thread. Thank you.

        • Marion in Savannah

          Nice job of cherry picking what you choose to respond to. There are many other sensible and on point responses that you have studiously ignored.

          • Mike Minden

            I have posted multiple responses. What have I ignored, other than the insults?

          • Marion in Savannah

            Insults? Who insulted you, and how? Please show your work.

          • Mike Minden

            You mean like the “god bless you”, “bless his heart” nonsense? Or the part about “shifting the goalposts” when I was answering a question.

          • Marion in Savannah

            If those are the worst insults you’ve had to suffer you’re a lucky man. And someone telling you that you’re shifting the goalposts isn’t an insult. It’s an observation.

          • Marion in Savannah

            For starters, any number of cogent responses and questions from Daniel.

          • Daniel

            From me:
            1) a request for your definition of evil
            2) a question about what evidence you have the dead were, as you claimed, “violent fanatics”.
            3) a request that you point out where anyone said or implied they were fine with mistreatment of gay people and women by any religion.
            4) a question about how you reconcile your acceptance that prisoners in Guantanamo received no trial before being imprisoned with your conclusion that they must have been fanatical extremists because they killed themselves.
            5) a question about whether you know of any Christian fanatic being treated in the same way by the US government and military.

          • Mike Minden

            Fine.
            5) No, I can’t name any Christian fanatics, etc. That’s an odd question, given that Christian fanatics are part of the coalition running this country and persecuting other people.
            4) Believing in due process doesn’t mean blindly believing that all prisoners at Gitmo are innocent, or that all American military personel are murderers and torturers.
            3) Homophobia and the oppression of women are aspects of mainstream Islam – not just the violent fanatics. The people mocking my arguments were ignoring that. This is exactly what I mean about Islam getting a free pass.
            2) The same evidence you have they were innocent bystanders.
            1)I’m sorry, but that is an absurd question. Entire books have been written on that subject. For purposes of this discussion, let’s just say I reject totalitarianism whether political or religious.

          • Marion in Savannah

            “Believing in due process doesn’t mean blindly believing that all prisoners at Gitmo are innocent, or that all American military personel are murderers and torturers. ”

            Oh, FFS. Where did that come from? Who said that due process meant “blindingly believing that all prisoners at Gitmo are innocent?” Or that “all American military personnel (note the double “n”) are murderers or torturers?” Please tell us who said that.

          • Marion in Savannah

            “Homophobia and the oppression of women are aspects of mainstream Islam – not just the violent fanatics.”

            Oh. Then you might find the attached link enlightening, “Mainstream Media Islamophobia and Women’s Rights in Muslim Countries
            A Critical Response to the Islamophobic Accusation made by Western Mainstream Media that Islam is Anti-women”

            https://www.globalresearch.ca/mainstream-media-islamophobia-and-womens-rights-in-muslim-countries/5438965

          • Lord Jim

            Okay, Islamaphobe spotted, blocked.

          • Daniel

            5) you said you think Islam gets a free pass from progressives in contrast to the equal treatment you believe all religious fanatics should get. It is not odd to point out that accused Islamic extremists are held without trial in a facility where torture has been used and Christian extremists are not.
            It was illustrating that your claim was bullshit.

            4) not all, you’re strawmanning again. However, you have concluded that portion of the prison population that has committed suicide was guilty- you called that group of prisoners specifically violent religious fanatics who use suicide as a tactic. You assumed their guilt because of their suicides.

            3) no, they weren’t. Those things are irrelevant to the comment you responded to by accusing people of thinking that- which was a response to your claim that the prisoners at Guantanamo who killed themselves were violent religious fanatics.
            You employed a straw man to evade criticism of your very poorly argued point.

            2) stop straw manning. Aside from anything else, it’s boring. I never claimed they were innocent, I just claim we do not know they were guilty.
            You admitted as much by saying they haven’t been given a trial.
            So how do you reconcile that with your conclusion that they were guilty? What makes you sure that suicides in Guantanamo were more likely to have been tactical in the manner of suicide bombings than not?
            You made the claim. Defend it.

            1) it’s by no means an absurd question- you claimed to oppose evil in the same post you claimed people committing suicide while imprisoned without trial were at least very likely to be guilty of crimes they had not actually been proven to have committed. Your definition of “evil” allows you to conclude this without having any evidence to support it, and minimize suicide- and blame it on the people driven to commit it- while still, presumably, thinking you are standing against evil. It’s necessary for you to explain what you mean by the word given this is the case.

            On top of that, you say you are atheist. “Evil” is a metaphysical concept. It is therefore necessary for you to explain what you mean by the term since the assumption an atheist believes in such metaphysical concepts is not obvious, and clearly your definition and common religious based definitions- which are much more pervasive in society whether people agree with them or not- may not match.

          • HazooToo

            Well, you have ignored me, for example. I pointed out the things you seemed to be assuming in your post, but I didn’t call you an asshole or tell you to go bless yourself. Let me take another crack at this, and I’ll see if I can get my point across better…

            You say: “The deceased were violent religious fanatics from a movement that embraces suicide attacks as a weapon. The knee jerk assumption that they did not committ suicide is misguided (and frankly puzzling).”

            Can you show us where it was proven that the victims were found guilty through due process of being involved in terrorism? We know that some of the detainees at Gitmo were actually innocent, and that most of them were held indefinitely without trial, and that torture was commonly used there. Do you have confidence in the courts they used to determine whether someone was guilty or not?

            In addition, as Space Tacos pointed out, a suicide attack and someone committing suicide are two very different things. The concept of someone committing suicide with the intention of making their jailers look bad is not just frankly puzzling, it’s ludicrous. More likely, they were trying to escape a cruel and intolerable situation in the only way they had left, or they died under torture and the cause of their deaths was covered up.

            You said: “As an atheist, I proudly despise religious fanatics of all kinds. The willingness of some progressives to give Islam a free pass frankly pisses me off. Evil is evil regardless of what religion is behind it. Islamic crack-pots should be held to the same standard as their Christian counterparts.”

            Islam does not get a free pass. You are not the first and only person to notice that many Islamic countries mistreat people they consider “less than”. However, that does not mean that every Islamic person worships the exact same way as those countries, or terrorist groups. Same goes for Christians. Of any denomination. Even Mormons. And you know we get a shit-ton of nightmare stories about Christians and Mormons here. We still don’t assume they’re all assholes unless they prove otherwise.

            Frankly, it’s the assumption that we don’t consider evil to be evil when Islam is behind it is what’s most insulting about your original post. We are not idiots. You are not uniquely gifted in your understanding of cruelty. What we are doing is not assuming that the people who died were evil, when we don’t necessarily have proof that they were! In addition, imprisoning someone indefinitely and torturing them based on nothing but suspicion is clearly evil, so why are we being asked to give the people behind these acts the benefit of doubt, but not the victims?

        • Daniel

          You’re saying that asking you to support your claims was not sensible or on point?

          Your own claims contradict one another.

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      conflating Islam with fanatical Muslim terrorists is bad and you should be feel bad.

      Also, assumes suicidal and terroristic tendencies not in evidence.

      • Mike Minden

        Did I not specifically say FANATIC Moslems?

        • Marion in Savannah

          So how do you tell which are the FANATICS and which aren’t? Ouija board?

          • Mike Minden

            Gee, I don’t know – by there behavior? The same way you identify the extremists in any other religion.

          • Marion in Savannah

            “Their.”

          • Daniel

            Do you actually have any specific arguments or do you only deal in vaguery?

            Your main argument is post hoc ergo propter hoc- you conclude because they committed suicide they must have been Islamist terrorists who use suicide as a weapon.
            You have also claimed that you think they should have been granted due legal process, in the open, to decide their guilt.
            These positions are in conflict.

          • Clark_Nova

            Buy a program. Can’t tell the players apart without a program.

        • Daniel

          No, you didn’t.

          • Mike Minden

            See above.

          • Daniel

            I can read
            You did not specify fanatical Muslims, you did allege that Islam is given a break by progressives from being criticised. You said this after claiming suicides in Guantanamo are “violent religious fanatics”. I asked you to provide evidence. You didn’t.

            You have acknowledged there has been no due process for these prisoners. You have said you’d like to see that due process followed. Yet you still conclude they were guilty and their suicides were consistent with them being terrorists.

            I am am asking you to support this awkward argument. You are falling back on straw man arguments, alleging others have said things (supporting mistreatment of gays and women) they haven’t.

        • Dept. of Space Tacos

          not here you didn’t:
          The willingness of some progressives to give Islam a free pass frankly pisses me off. Evil is evil regardless of what religion is behind it. Islamic crack-pots should be held to the same standard as their Christian counterparts.

          • Mike Minden

            And in the prior paragraph I expressly used the word “fanatic”.

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            exactly, and conflated it with the rest of Islam in the part I quoted. Which was my comment….the one you responded to. Shall I draw you a map?

          • Mike Minden

            Dude, seriously, what part of “crack-pots” was unclear? Why do you keep insisting that I was refering to ALL Moslems (or Christians) when I clearly was not?

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            well then maybe you should WRITE better:

            Two consecutive sentences denigrating Islam (and progressives):
            “The willingness of some progressives to give Islam a free pass frankly pisses me off. Evil is evil regardless of what religion is behind it.

            Followed by one sentence including “crack-pot.” (that could totally be read independently of the previous two. Internet comments are no place for subtly. )

    • TJ Barke

      Don’t assume all those imprisoned were de facto violent fanatics, and not people potentially caught in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      • Mike Minden

        As I said, the prisoners there should get a fair, public trial, or be released for lack of evidence. I just don’t assume everyone there is innocent.

        • Dept. of Space Tacos

          if true, are you a different Mike Minden than comment above?

        • Daniel

          You did assume anyone committing suicide there was guilty though.

          • Dudleydidwrong

            He must have read what he wrote and decided that he didn’t like it, or that he didn’t write it. You know, like Trump tweets.

    • Daniel

      As an atheist, I find your belief in the metaphysical concept of “evil” and your absolutism about it curious.
      What do you define “evil” as?

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        “Islam” apparently.

        (fellow athiest here – internet fist bump)

        • Mike Minden

          So you are OK with Islamic mistreatment of gays and women?

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            nope, didn’t say, imply, reference or approach the universe containing anything that would support that conclusion.

            Careful with all that straw – it’s flammable.

            (also, going troll in the first two responses is no fun…the real experts put it on a low and slow boil.)

          • Marion in Savannah

            Probably about as much as we’re all OK (NOT) with our home grown Talibangelicals’ treatment of gays and women.

          • Daniel

            Are you aware of what “shifting the goalposts” means?

          • Marion in Savannah

            He wasn’t shifting the goalposts — his strawmen were.

          • Johnatx

            Damn, I thought you typed “shitting the goalposts”.

          • Dudleydidwrong

            Well, that, also too.

          • Mike Minden

            FFS – you are the one who asked what I considered “evil” about Islamic extremists. I answered you.

          • Daniel

            No, you accused someone else of something they had neither directly claimed nor implied.

            I asked you to define evil. I did not ask you to say what you thought was evil about Islamic extremism.

            Read and reply to things people actually say- you’re tilting at straw men otherwise.

          • Daniel

            Who said that?

    • HazooToo

      I think where you’ve gone wrong is swallowing the right wing bunk that says “Lefties LOVE Islam”. Also in assuming that everyone at Gitmo was actually guilty of being a violent religious fanatic. Also that the Islamic religion itself embraces suicide attacks, and not just the terrorists interpretation of the religion. You seem to have a lot of assumptions here. Assuming it’s a knee-jerk reaction, and not actually based on investigation, is another one. I would suggest you stop assuming things.

      • Dept. of Space Tacos

        to your point – it assumes a suicide and a suicide attack(er) are the same thing. They are not.

        Suicide attacks are just attacks carried out in such a way that it kills the attacker. The “goal” is to kill as many people as possible.

        A suicide in jail just ends the life of the person committing the act.

        • HazooToo

          Yes, and on top of that, if every Islamic person believed in the same vicious perversion of their religion as the terrorists, we would have had many, many more attacks on American soil by now. No religion is safe from corruption, but no religion is entirely corrupt. At least, not that I know of. And far too many people in Gitmo were not given due process at all. Were these men who supposedly committed suicide actually found guilty of anything?

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            no idea – i’m shamefully ignorant of that whole sphere. (There’s a section on the D.C. District Court website with *some* documents, I think, about the cases).

          • HazooToo

            There’s been a lot of shit since then, I don’t even remember half of what I read by now. And I wasn’t even interested in politics at the time. Ashamed of Gitmo though? Absolutely.

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            indeed – i’m near 40, when I was a kid, there was shit we just didn’t do.

            (Of course, that’s an illusion, we’ve done this kind of crap a long time – but that was one of the “American values” we advertised and the world respected.)

    • Johnatx

      Mike, did you leave? I was ready to tell you to have a blessed day

      • Mike Minden

        I’m glad you find Islamic mistreatment of women and gays amusing.

        • Daniel

          So you have nothing but straw men to argue against.

          Good for you.

        • Johnatx

          I will pray for you, Mike. You seem to have a troubled soul

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            he really needs jesus, dontcha think?

          • Johnatx

            At least. Hell, maybe send some Buddha his way also too

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            from everything I’ve heard, that Muhammad guy was a pretty decent dude.

          • Johnatx

            Mike is kinda boring. He needs to take lessons from TLM

          • Dept. of Space Tacos

            my work and classes has made me overly analytical and argumentative.

            I submit to you, it’s not that Mike is boring, it’s that the Wonkteriat is so deft and experienced at dealing with trolls.

            : D
            (i hate “i submit to you.” A lawyer uses it in arguments; I use it to make fun of overly formal rhetorical styles.)

          • Marion in Savannah

            However, given his comment history Mike isn’t a troll. He’s just got an entire hive of bees under his bonnet about this for some reason.

        • Johnatx

          I just come here for the dick jokes.

        • Jonny On Maui

          Oh for Fuck sake. Wanna look at Christianitys’ record with females and homosexuals?

          • Mike Minden

            I don’t see anyone here defending christianity for their misdeeds – nor should they.

          • Daniel

            Please explain where anyone not a straw man said or implied they were OK with mistreatment of gay people and women by any religious group.

          • HazooToo

            What you see here is people objecting to your painting entire religions as violent fanatics. In reality, people are not all exactly the same, even within a certain religion. This is evidenced by the fact that some atheists don’t shit on every religion proudly, while some do.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            Sam Harris and Bill Maher are basically in favor of nuking 2 billion people from orbit. Maher in particular has a bothersome soft spot for Bibi and can be a real dick to women (see interview with Chrystia Freeland, where she unfortunately tries her best to be “Canadian polite” to the asshole who accuses her of being an idiot who’s signing up for genital mutilation).

          • HazooToo

            I admit some of this paragraph has lost me, but I absolutely hate Maher.

          • Ellie

            And he Maher’s a germ theory denialist and anti-vaxxer – except for Gardasil.

          • Daniel

            Still waiting for you to show where anyone said they were OK with mistreatment of gay people and women.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            Or, for that matter, Netanyahu’s Holocaust against Palestinians (including Palestinian Christians) that’s not allowed to be described as such. Or the discrimination against women at the Western Wall.

    • Dudleydidwrong

      So anyone imprisoned at Gitmo is a “religious fanatic?” I don’t think you can come close to supporting that contention. Or are you arguing that all Muslims are religious fanatics? That’s even more ludicrous.

      I’m an atheist, too, but I’m embarrassed to be part of your tribe.

    • Robyn Ryan

      Christians are famous for torture and lynchings. Monotheism encourages inhumanity to others.
      In Vietnam, torture was beneath us.
      Once a professed Christian became President, the US launched a holy war against Islam.
      Gitmo was inevitable, once the Inquisition was let loose. https://uploads.disquscdn.com/images/aa80cbb6177ae1db56af1469015ab57c6aa143551f3245809f9876fd16d3868f.jpg

    • Jennaratrix

      It’s not about who the people were, their religious fanaticism, or whether or not the deceased committed suicide or were manslaughtered. It’s about who we are as a country, and some of us (most of us?) believe we should be better than imprisoning people without charge, committing torture, and celebrating peoples’ deaths in prison.

      I also proudly despise religious fanatics of all kinds, and I also am an atheist. I also proudly despise torture and capital punishment. To carry those out makes us evil. Evil is evil, as you so succinctly pointed out.

      And also too, after reading further down, you say that you don’t believe we should be holding people at Gitmo and that all of them should be afforded due process and/or released. So you’re defending a Trump appointee who was the commander of a facility you believe shouldn’t be open or holding potentially innocent people without charge because the people who died were violent religious fanatics who deserved to die?

      I haz a confuse. Which is it? Oh, I know; you just wanted to rile us all up. Gotcha. Can’t speak for everyone, but I’m not riled up, just slightly baffled.

      • Mike Minden

        I agree completely – nothing I said can be construed as endorsing torture or rejecting due process.

        • Daniel

          Except where you asserted that the dead were violent fanatics based on their having committed suicide.

          You concluded they were guilty while admitting they had not gone to trial, and because they killed themselves you asserted they were using the same tactics as suicide bombers.

          You concluded guilt based on people who were detained without due process and without their guilt ever having been established in a court of law.

          Read the things you write.

        • Jennaratrix

          I agree completely have no real convictions – nothing everything I said can be construed as endorsing torture or rejecting due process.

          FTFY.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      “He who fights with monsters should look to it that he himself does not become a monster. And if you gaze long into an abyss, the abyss also gazes into you.”

      Friedrich Nietzsche

    • Lord Jim

      Uh, did you overlook this part of the article:

      The thing is… it is pretty likely that those prisoners did not actually commit suicide, but rather died while being tortured.

      Via The Guardian:

      However, a subsequent report by the centre for policy and research of Seton Hall University School of Law, under the supervision of its director, Professor Mark Denbeaux, attorney for two Guantanamo detainees, pointed to numerous inconsistencies in the official accounts of these deaths. The report suggested there had either been gross negligence or an attempt to cover up homicides of the men, perhaps owing to torture under interrogation.

      In 2010, Harper’s Magazine published a story suggesting the three prisoners had died as a result of accidental manslaughter during a torture session, and that the official account was a cover-up.

      • Marion in Savannah

        It apparently didn’t fit conveniently into the hypothesis.

    • Mike Minden

      OK, I’m out of here…but I leave you with one point to ponder.

      If someone had posted about the evils of Evangelicals, would it provoke the same response? I think we all know it would not. (nor should it) But no, there’s no double standard here.

      • Marion in Savannah

        You said earlier that I had insulted you. Want an insult? Okay, here goes.

        I’m heading off to clean the cats’ litter boxes because I’d rather deal with their shit than yours. Now THAT’S what an insult looks like.

      • Lord Jim

        Ya know, it was actually YOU that brought religion into it. From the article:

        “Back in 2006, when Harris was in charge of Gitmo, three prisoners — Mani Shaman Turki al-Habardi al-Utaybi, Salah Ali Abdullah Ahmed al-Salami and Yasser Talal al Zahrani — all died in custody. Their deaths were reported as suicides.”

        No mention of their religion. But WE are the religious bigots.

        Right.

      • HazooToo

        That’s not the point I’m pondering. What I’M pondering is whether there is a reason you have no intention whatsoever of responding to any of my posts. You’ve engaged with almost everyone else, are my points somehow harder to refute? If so, you should probably ponder why.

      • You do love them strawmen.
        And yes. It would provoke the same result.
        What part of covered up homicide are you ignoring besides all of it, Mikey?

  • Daniel

    A deplorable named Harris connected with Australia?

  • Jonny On Maui
    • eyelashviper

      Well, it is probably better that it happened right away, and just offshore, with many people around to rescue them.

      • FukuiSanYesOta

        “A couple who packed in the rat race to sail around the world for life”

        “They lost everything in just 20 minutes when the houseboat sank”

        A houseboat. Sail around the world. Now, I’m no sailor, but even I can see something of a flaw in this plan.

    • Rasilom

      Uh, set off to sail around the world with no prior sailing experiance. Why would you do that!?!?! At the very least they should have found someone willing to sail with them for the first month to train them. I have a friend who has done this atleast twice for new sail boat owners headed out for simular trips. Also on a 25 foot boat in the open ocean with that little experiance would be like a flight student that just solo’d jumping in an f-18 for a carrior take off as PIC. I feel for them and am glad they are ok, but I hope they make better choices with the next boat.

  • Marion in Savannah

    Oh, fucking hell. Now I have to apologize to my friend in Australia about the trash we’re unloading on their shores.

    • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

      Please include our apologies as well.

    • Sunhead

      No. Seriously.
      He will fit right in with the racist trash the selfish bigots elected to our Gubmnt.

  • Rasilom

    Maybe the Ausies could send tRump a nice pet Funnel Web Spider in return.?

    • The Wanderer

      Cone shells.

    • eyelashviper

      Box jellyfish are nice as a gift, along with a tiny school of Irukandji.

      • Marion in Savannah

        And he could play with them in the bathtub. Fun splashing time!

        • puredog

          Trump bathes? Whoa if true.

          • Marion in Savannah

            Well, I assume he enjoys playing with his rubber duckies. Don’t most children enjoy splashing in the tub?

  • Msgr_MΩment
  • therblig

    how long before he commits a bootable offense?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pt4mwy9OBNA

    • Jonny On Maui

      Or one is uncovered…

    • Dept. of Space Tacos

      classic episode….

  • Robyn Ryan

    Just like his buddies Flynn and Kelly.

  • Very Stable Bozi

    Maybe he will get his staff from Wolf Creek.
    http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0416315/

  • Cletus Safari
  • Jennaratrix

    As far as I can tell, there’s no official procedure for a country to refuse to accept an appointed US ambassador; I wonder if our allies could begin to unofficially say “Nope.” Like, by denying shitstain, torture-loving “ambassadors” visas or entry or whatever. Because I’m pretty sure that under a normal US administration, the US would have something to say about human-rights-violating types entering the country and serving in diplomatic posts.

    Not this administration, of course, especially if they’re also Russians. But you know, ideally.

    • Dudleydidwrong

      A nation can refuse to accept the credentials of a diplomat from another country, including an ambassador. It doesn’t happen very often but it has occurred.

      • Jennaratrix

        Well, I think it’s time for the rest of the world to start doing that. Enough is enough.

        • Natalie Au Natural Hedonist

          Especially the Netherlands, that asshole lied about them.

    • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

      Australia is dominated by Rupert Murdoch style politics (80% of the Australian press is either owned outright by the Murdochs, or survives by doing a pretty fair imitation of Murdochery), so Australia is not exactly inclined to put Republican America in its place.

      It pays to remember that good old Oz had its own little adventure in fascism back in the 1930s, when the predatory capitalists who ruled the country mobilized and financed a ferocious fascist vanguard—passionately pro-Hitler and Mussolini, hysterically opposed to the same things that fascists everywhere were rising up to smash and silence: democracy, socialism, organized labor, “race-mixing,” women’s rights, et al.

      They stopped short of a full-scale, violent fascist coup, but at the height, there were several hundred thousand organized fascists penetrating every aspect of Australian life, scattered throughout the military and police as well as the conservative political establishment and, of course, the press, and they destroyed the liberal and left wing opposition through intimidation and propaganda, without having to fire a shot.

      That strain has continued to dominate Australian political life ever since. It ebbs and it flows, but—fueled by Murdochism and funded, as fascism always is, by the fossil fuel, mining, and extraction oligarchs—-it never goes away.

      • Jennaratrix

        Thank you for this; I’m not overly familiar with Australian history or politics, and while I knew about the Murdochs, I had no idea how prevalent fascism is/was.

        • FukuiSanYesOta

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/White_Australia_policy

          The term White Australia policy comprises various historical policies that effectively barred people of non-European descent from immigrating to Australia.
          There was never any specific policy titled as such, but the term was
          invented later to encapsulate a collection of policies that were
          designed to exclude people from Asia (particularly China) and the Pacific Islands (particularly Melanesia) from immigrating to Australia. These policies were progressively dismantled between 1949 and 1973

          • Lord Jim

            Completely OT, but a funny follow up to a discussion we had a few days ago about HFT and the role of the Boost C++ libraries therein. You had just educated me about how little real use they were in data science. So several weeks ago, I installed Ananconda because some smart person in a YouTube presentation said it was the shiz for Python folks. I recently looked at the list of packages available for Anaconda. About a third of the way down the list – Boost. LOL.

          • FukuiSanYesOta

            Heh! That doesn’t surprise me much. Also OT, the Boost book has a sifaka on it. A SIFAKA!

            https://prodimage.images-bn.com/pimages/9780321133540_p0_v2_s550x406.jpg

          • Lord Jim

            Sifaka is excited to be on the cover!

      • Husband Of Mrs God

        Is that why the ruling conservative party is called Liberals?

        • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

          No, this is in fact the traditional meaning of “liberalism.”

          The usage confuses us because for years right-wingers in the US have used the word “liberal” opprobriously, as a synonym for left-radical: but the purer meaning of the word describes old-fashioned (pre-reactionary) conservatism, and refers to classic free market economic theory rather than social and cultural and racial policies.

          • Lord Jim

            So, more like “liberal” as in “libertarianism”?

          • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

            Not quite, but closer. Classic liberalism acknowledges a role for government in ensuring the rights of individuals: libertarians claim to believe in unfettered free will, and that any degree of government involvement is potentially coercive, therefore to be resisted.

          • Lord Jim

            Well, actually, that would be anarchists. I believe libertarians believe in a govt that does only nat’l defense and domestic law enforcement.

          • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

            This is what happens when liberals, libertarians, and anarchists get together and try to agree on terms.

          • Lord Jim

            LOL!

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            “Asshole” seems to fit pretty well. Not so much for US or Canadian Liberals, but the anything-goes, “I got mine, fuck you” Randroid crowd.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            I don’t think they believe in any laws, actually, except the law of the jungle. They certainly don’t seem to believe in laws that protect people from the rapacious pursuit of profit by corporate people swatting everyone else down with the invisible hand of the free market. They even bitch about food safety regulations. If you die of salmonella poisoning, well, tough shit, too bad so sad, caveat emptor and all that rot. No cops; only self-defense, hence the obsession with everyone needing to pack heat to defend themselves against other people packing heat. It’s almost like they want life to be nasty, brutish, and short. Where they get tongue-tangled is when anyone asks them about abortion. That’s when their douchebro really shows through. Back-alley or bust.

          • Lord Jim

            Oh, libertarians DO believe in laws. Laws that protect plutocrats from encumbrances to their pillaging, looting, and oppression.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            Free-market economic and social theory, ironically that which is espoused in the United States. The notion that if the rich get richer and the poor get poorer it’s because the rich are simply smarter and better, and that it shouldn’t be against the law to call Obama a ni(CLANG), say that “Bruce” Jenner is an “ugly, cross-dressing dude,” or advance the viewpoint that the Holocaust either didn’t happen or wasn’t that bad of a policy, because frozen peaches and boo “cultural Marxism.” If anything, it’s the Americans who are engaging in up-is-down newspeak and have been for years.

  • Darthhippy

    Its to have some one in Australia who “understands” the Australian need for off shore refugee “camps.” Which don’t violate anything at all.

  • disqus_lWwzrwNaw6

    These guys hate the movies, because in the movies the good guys—like General James Mattoon Scott and and Colonel Nathan Jessup —always seem to lose.

    Luckily for fascism and the whole ambitious “death of democracy” project now in its final stages, in real life the General Scotts and Colonel Jessups of this world seem to land on their feet, with both hands fully extended to catch all that sweet, sweet dark money raining down on them.

  • SayItWithWookies

    It’s like there must be a phone book of America’s dark, violent, misogynistic id — all the shit that had to hide under the bed for the Obama administration because it kept getting excoriated for fb posts of our president eating watermelon and fried chicken — and now this whole clown car of repressed filth and hatred comes pouring out. And wow, are they pissed that they could only yell Nazi chants from the sidelines for so long. See — we have to have more than eight years of civilization before we stamp this shit out for good.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Trump is the manifestation of the Internet made flesh.

      The Internet was largely a product of the United States.

      The U.S. itself is a cancer on humanity that needs to collapse.

      • Lord Jim

        Eastern Europe is not a shining example of humanity these days. Just sayin…

        • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

          Trumpism/Americanism has largely emboldened the Nazis elsewhere on the planet. The USSR was the other extreme of the pendulum, but were it not for America’s 75-year-long freakout about anything remotely resembling “leftism” being exported all over the globe, there might have been a more moderate transition from Eastern Bloc totalitarianism to something closer to Western European social democracy. Instead, thanks to the Cold War, the pendulum just crashed the other way. And America just deported a Polish man there. A doctor. If Canada or Normegia had global hegemony instead of us the world might be a better place.

          • Lord Jim

            I’m not holding the US blameless, by any means, but it was Putin who sponsored the right-wing resurgence in Europe to weaken NATO. Though, again, I would not dispute that Trump has emboldened neo-nazis everywhere.

          • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

            Then again, I want to say that there might not have been a Putin if there’d been a Marshall Plan for the collapse of the USSR, to avoid the kind of power vacuum that produced the slobbering drunk Yeltsin and the Svengali who eventually took over. The only problem with the Marshall Plan and the WW2 aftermath was that the U.S. itself was never properly de-Nazified, on account of being the “victor.” We went from empty propaganda with Jesse Owens at the Berlin Olympics (and then Tuskegee Airmen coming home to a country full of lynchings), to a top-level executive at the U.S.’ foremost “conservative media outlet” (Fox) penning a public op-ed lambasting the U.S. Olympics Team for being “darker and gayer” than what he is comfortable with. Until the U.S. agrees to go to rehab and become more like Canada and Normegia, these problems will continue to fester.

          • Red Bird on a Shithouse

            Do you ever get the feeling that Putin is exactly the type of leader some people in the US wanted for Russia?

          • I can’t believe she made me google “Normegia”.

      • Kateaux

        “If you build it, he will come.” Well, we built it, didn’t we.

  • Duke

    “All the best people.”

    Next up: sex abuse allegations.

  • Anna in PDX

    Well, Mel is kinda into torture.

  • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

    I’m sure he’ll have nothing but praise for Aussie Gitmo built for refugees on Nauru, won’t he. Next up, a Trail of Tears for the aborigines and pink triangles for the victors in the recent ballot referendum. Hurry up Canada, blaze up the White House because it’s 1812 before anyone else gets hurt. FFS.

    • FukuiSanYesOta

      They already did the Black Line back in 1830.

      • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

        They really need a Truth & Reconciliation Commission.

        And I still think there should be a public sorry made to Julia Gillard.

    • Kateaux

      And he’ll be supportive of a campaign to insist on calling Uluru “Ayers Rock”?

      • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

        No. Trump Rock. Complete with gold-plated letters and the carving of Uluru into Mount Trumpmore, with the ugly mugs of 45 and the hellspawn.

  • Spurning Beer

    Feed Adm. Harris some Vegemite. Then see how he feels about torture.

    • Lord Jim

      Do ya come from a land Down Under?

      Where beer does flow and men chunder?

      • ScrwUStillaTexanLibrul

        That’s the ticket–just make him listen to an endless loop of Men At Work. He’ll be begging for waterboarding to end it all.

        • Last Hussar

          And Aussie Soaps.

          All together now – Neighbours, everybody needs good neighbours…

        • Ruth

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      • Bad Tom

        Can’t you hear, can’t you hear the thunder?
        You better run, you better take cover, yeah.

      • Red Bird on a Shithouse

        Never understood those lyrics.

      • Sunhead

        Australia has an alcohol problem.
        Some people drink until the vomit, aka chunder.

    • Rooster Cogburn105

      From which end?

    • The Wanderer

      Just a glass of Melbourne Old & Yellow. Not a wine for drinking; more like a wine for laying down and avoiding.

      • Clark_Nova

        It makes an excellent dogwash.

    • gingerwentworth1

      I think he should earn his way into the position thru first an orientation period lving with a small indigenous group, then: his initiation into the tribe, then, well just learning their ways and helping out the women at first (walking well behind the men) and going on long hunts, sharing out the mealy bugs until they kill a kangaroo. Then, maybe he’ll be ready for the embassy job. He’ll be a new man.

    • Zyxomma

      … and she just laughed, and gave me a Vegemite sandwich.

      • Last Hussar

        You from a land down under?

  • memzilla Ω

    O/T Nice Time! Trump Slump Hits the Arms Industry

    Remington Arms considering bankruptcy, has $950 million in debt; Smith & Wesson has probable $100 million drop in year-over-year sales; Sturm Ruger sheds 27% in market capitalization since mid-June.

    “Consumer urgency to stockpile has receded under the unified Republican-led administration and Congress.” Nice lobbying job, NRA!

  • Rooster Cogburn105

    We’ve always been at war with East Australia

    • phoenix00

      You mean “New Zealand”?

      • CrazyDogLady

        We are sick and tired of the tyranny from the West Island. 😉

        • phoenix00

          Those damn Tasmanian Devils!

  • Kateaux

    Question is, what did Australia do to deserve our giving them Mel Gibson in the first place? Which is definitely a thing we did — Mel was born here.

    Also, too, Donnie certainly has a gift for picking ambassadors. Look how he made Terry Braindead ambassador to China! While, as an Iowan, I am glad not to be stuck with Terry as governor anymore, as a United Statesian, I find the notion of Ambassador Braindead to be somewhat worrying.

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      TBH, Mel’s father is Australian and a RWNJ hate preacher. I think Mel’s mother is from New York, which is why he was born there. The reverse of Elon Musk, whose father was an engineer from South Africa married to a fashion model from Saskatchewan; the minute Elon was old enough, he got the hell out of Apartheid country and went to the nice country where mom comes from. Elon took on the best characteristics of any other polite, introverted Canadian science fiction nerd born in 1971. Mel took on the characteristics of Rupert Murdoch on steroids.

      • RefreshinglyZesty

        “Hutton “Red” Gibson was born in Peekskill, New York” .. that said, his mother (Mel’s paternal gran) was Australian

      • gingerwentworth1

        I saw Mel G in such a good movie, I don’t care. Blood Father. I can’t understand how he could be just right if he’s such a jerk. Was he always drunk those times?

    • Niblick

      Please stay in Iowa

      • Kateaux

        ????

        • gingerwentworth1

          Mean!

  • BillEGoatSmirk

    It would be nice if the Dotard nominated someone with actual diplomatic credentials to be the ambassador to one of our closest allies. A fucking general. Really??

    • 🍁 Secret Society Girl Guide 🍁

      Did he ever nominate Caribou Barbie as ambassador to Canada, or is that position officially empty because Ivanka is still trying to make Senpai Justin notice her?

      • phoenix00

        Worse. It’s the wife of a coal magnate and climate change denier.

        http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/us-ambassador-knight-craft-1.4366936

        • Mentally Stable Ron

          I haven’t been following her news. How’s she managing in a country that has been shutting down coal plants and has been trying to go green (albeit slowly)?

          • phoenix00

            She’ll be fine. She’s got rich hubby and Trump, now the trickle-up tax break.

    • capnkrunch

      Closed allies? You’re still operating under the old paradigm. Australia is not Russia, and they don’t even rub Trump’s belly and give him Scooby Snacks like China. Besides, do they even military bro?

      • Niblick

        fancy bear

      • MC Planck

        How many divisions do the Australians have?

        (Paraphrase from Stalin. Get used to it, because we’ll hear it a lot.)

    • gingerwentworth1

      This general doesn’t sound like one of those diplomacy-oriented generals, does he? He sounds like one of those Fox News, Laugh-at-Barack for his talking to every country all the time generals. Bomb the hell out of them because those places are shitholes.

    • phoenix00

      Lookit who’s the Ambassador to Canada! http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/us-ambassador-knight-craft-1.4366936

      The best people.

  • capnkrunch

    I heard an interesting argument against the death penalty from Ken at Popehat (I think) that also applies to torture. Consider the officer who has to flip the switch the actually kill the prisoner. A healthy, well adjusted human cannot do that without some serious psychological damage. And the kind of sociopath who has no qualms about it is not the kind of person we should ever want to have that job.

    Essentially, you can sidestep all the ethical issues with the prisoners (because proponents clearly have no sympathy for them) and instead say that no civilized society should ever put one its citizens in the situation of the executioner.

    Now consider torture; I think this is probably even worse. Do we really want people who are OK with torturing to be allowed to do it? The dehumanization of enemies to the point where this seems OK is a tactic straight out of the Nazi playbook. How can Republicans not see that they’re on the wrong side of history?

    • jowgajen

      I have ethical issues with the death penalty, including this.

      Disclaimer over. The historical solution to this problem is to use multiple executioners with only one real form of execution. So five men with guns with four blanks and one live round. Or three switches but only one works. That way no one person knows they did the act for sure.

      • I would think you have to know. When I flip a switch and turn on the light you can kinda feel the power, you know? Blanks might be different, dunno, never fired blanks, but electricity? Maybe it is just in my head

        • You can tell with blanks too, they sound different. There was the time in basic we were training with blanks and a live round went off, we all knew. It’s possible if everyone fire at the same moment no one would be able to tell, but I’m not sure.

          • BrianW

            Blanks don’t really generate much/any recoil either, so you would have some idea that yours wasn’t the killing shot.

      • Sunhead

        Traditionally it was the other way round. 5 men, 4 live rounds, one blank. They could always think they were the one with the blank and so not responsible for the murder and… less chance of missing.

    • MC Planck

      I think you are right on torture, but wrong on the death penalty. There are plenty of people I could execute without qualm, if I were convinced it were necessary. I could never be convinced to torture anyone, though, because it’s never necessary.

      The ultimate objection to torture isn’t that it is immoral (because you can always construct a hypothetical where it would be moral), it is that it doesn’t work. Execution, on the other hand, does work, insomuch as it achieves the stated goal.

      • Sunhead

        Execution, on the other hand, does work, insomuch as it achieves the stated goal.

        Wrong.
        Normally that stated goal is ultimate deterrent. It is not.
        We have known for a long time the effective deterrent is probability of being caught, not the magnitude of the punishment.
        Execution is simply an enaction of and eye for an eye. It achieves very little in crime reduction or even cost saving for the state.

        • MC Planck

          Oh, no. I assumed the goal of execution is a dead person. That part almost always succeeds.

          As a deterrent, you’re right: it’s crap.

    • gingerwentworth1

      That’s just the puzzling thing about them, isn’t it? Remember when the audience clapped at that debate, about letting the man die because– was it because he didn’t have insurance? I can’t even remember what year it was. 2012? Or who was talking. Righteous indignation carries them through. At what, I don’t know. The problems they complain about (gov’t too big?) (this gov’t oppresses them?) makes you think they’ve never had a problem in their lives.

  • james crubb

    No doubt this chump is being sent down here to make sure we keep paying the military protection cash to lil donny
    Australian media is so loathe to criticise US/Murdoch no mention had been made of his Gitmo experience, they will probably get advice for Manus.

    Manus island is a scare crow, a place of torture to scare off refugees on boats, fucked thing is it works.

  • What Australia did to deserve this?

    Alexander Downer spilling the beans on George Papadopolous, probably.

    • Sunhead

      Oh, we had Manus Island and Nauru concentration camps for refugee boat arrivals.

  • Resistance Fighter Callyson

    Good God, it gets worse by the hour.

  • Moar Wordz

    Australia has a history of accepting criminals. Designating it “Asymmetrical warfare ” is a pass – the – buck manoeuvre, designed to go over well in press conferences and judicial reviews.

  • Inspired by a comment below, I hope that the word asshole will always come through in perfect context.

    Burning Sensations-“Pablo Picasso”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SGcffXXZYEg

  • Red Bird on a Shithouse

    Well Australia does treat their refugees like terrorists. So…

  • Bitter Scribe

    Torturers get promoted to high-profile ambassadorial posts.

    This was supposed to happen in Hitler’s Germany. In Stalin’s Russia. Not in my country.

  • MC Planck

    Australia sent you Rupert Murdoch. So ya, we pretty much deserve whatever we get now.

  • guppy06

    He can compare notes with the Australians on how to handle migrants.

  • Thomas McCabe

    Robyn, I hate to break it to you but Mel was born and raised in upstate New York. You dropped him onto us and all we did was return to sender. Believe me, you are more than welcome to him.

    • JohnC44

      This is all true, however you aren’t all completely without sin. I might point to Yahoo Serious as a prime example….

      Keep the Vegimite to yourselves and we’ll call it even. Also, would it kill you to send us some better beer? This Fosters stuff is not your best – you can’t fool all of us with the big cans and slick marketing forever, now. Sources tell me this is not the only beer sold in Australia and is actually what you drink when you have no better alternative. I would think you would want your taste in fermented beverages better represented than with the least desirable product available. Just a thought.

      • Zyxomma

        VB (Victoria Bitters) was pretty good, IIRC.

        • David Rodger

          Remember all the plain-label stuff on the shelves of the convenience store in the movie “Repo Man”? If there were plain-label beer, it would taste just like VB.

  • Espadron

    Reminds me of the military tribunal for wee Khadr where the prosecutions psychologist/psychiatrist labeled Khadr a very dangerous prisoner because during a disturbance at Gitmo many prisoners were flinging shit at the guards. Prisoner khadr did not partake and so therefore is supremely more dangerous than the shit-flinger terrorists.
    There is a certain madness that took hold in the USofA that has not yet been shaken off.

  • Tosca

    Well, Australia’s current system of indefinite offshore detention of asylum seekers (including unaccompanied children!) breaches a number of human rights determinations. Everyone from Australia’s own human rights watchdog, to the UN, to freaking AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL, has called out the current government’s shit and they. don’t. care.

    This fuck should fit right in.

    • CrazyDogLady

      That was my reaction to.

  • Wee Mousie

    Considering that he will have to conviince the Australian government to accept all the crazy shit Trump says, it may not be a bad idea for the new Ambassador to have some experience in rectal feeding.

  • DoILookAmused2u? Résistance☨

    And why him? Are we planning to go to war with Australia? Aside from Mel Gibson, what did Australia do to deserve this guy?

    Yahoo Serious libelz.

    • sgt. jmk of the résistance

      Fair point.

  • Zyxomma

    Poor Australia. I picture the uniformed guys in shorts with aerosol cans on international flights. Do they still do that?

  • SDGeoff3

    Mel Gibson alone would be reason enough to declare war on Australia, but the people are too nice; like Canadians with funnier accents. I wonder how the Admiral’s first press conference will go?

    • Lewis Singh

      Ha nice? That is because you really haven’t met them. To compare Aussies with Canadians would be comparing hard candy to a Mars bar.
      On top of that they cheat at cricket

      • Last Hussar

        Bastards, going round beating us. Can’t trust the buggers. Always nice when the Barmy Army takes the piss.

  • TheoLib

    Lest we get too carried away, post-GITMO, Harris was nominated by Obama to head up the US Pacific Command and he was confirmed by the Senate. I don’t know enough about Harris to have an informed opinion on him being Ambassador, but I do wonder why Trump is switching commanders while ratcheting up tensions in the Pacific. (I don’t suspect anything nefarious, just stupid.)

  • GaseousAnomaly

    Remember, Malcolm Turnbull of Australia was one of the first world leaders to take issue with Trump. I know, what with the firehose of disrespect for alliances, norms, mores, laws and government in general, it’s easy to forget, but Trump, while he has NO RESPECT for anyone else, DEMANDS RESPECT when he’s yammering. Trump has obviously decided that if he thinks he’s being disrespected, he’ll respond with military brass. And he’s ALWAYS being disrespected. He’s ITCHING for a war.

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