Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I twitter

Hey, dear Real History afficianados. I wanted to tell you that I do Twitter, occasionally. I expect to do that a little more, mostly because it's a quick, fast way to share a link or two that isn't worthy of a blog entry.

If you want to 'follow' my 'tweets' you can go to and look me up. I'm there as lisapease.

I hope people caught Rachel Maddow tonight on MSNBC. She quoted testimony showing that the "ticking time bomb" scenario really never works, in reality.

As she also pointed out, torture doesn't work because most people committed to terrorism are going to just wait it out if an attack is impending.

While I have enjoyed numerous seasons of the show 24, I believe it has done incredible damage in causing people to believe torture really works, when the record shows the direct opposite. In most cases, first, you can't know that the victim of torture really has the goods to confess. And if they do, will you know the truth if they tell it? Or will you torture them further, believing it to be a lie? Or will they just say anything? In the end, torture simply isn't effective.

But it's a shame that the debate centers around that.

I wish the debate was about who we are as a country, and, frankly, as a species. Since when is torture acceptable on any level? If we get to that point, we've taken a wrong turn long ago.

Why do you think terrorists attack us? Because of serious, prolonged actions by our country. If we want to be safe from terrorism, a better international policy will be far more successful than torture. And guess what? It has a preventative effect. Torture has the opposite effect. It just makes us more reviled around the world, not less.

We don't want people to fear us. People will work to overcome what they fear.

We want people to love us. And that means behaving very, very differently on the world stage.

I hope we're up to the task.


Anonymous MinM said...

"If they can get you asking the wrong questions, they don't have to worry about the answers." Thomas PynchonWas torture ever about the "ticking time-bomb" or was it really about eliciting politically expedient responses?

As with wiretapping (i.e., Jane Harman). Torture was first, last, and always about achieving political ends. It was never about "Homeland Security".

So you are correct about "24", Lisa. Not only does the show promote a counterproductive tactic. It also served as a diversion from the true purpose behind torture.

Report: Abusive tactics used to seek Iraq-al Qaida link | McClatchy

Did the Bush Admin Use Torture for Political Ends? - The Seminal :: Independent Media and Politics
Rupert Murdoch admitted that he “tried” to help the Bush administration sell the war in Iraq

5:00 AM  
Anonymous Theodore Scott said...

I get in this argument with people all the time.

Many find it difficult to focus on whether we should do something. They want to talk about whether or not it works.

5:17 AM  
Anonymous DHSmd said...

An obvious point that has been well documented since I was knee high to a grasshopper. A shame that is has to be repeated endlessly today - and an even deeper shame that doing so seems to have minimal effect (so far).

There is a British documentary (BBC, I think) on the origins of radical Islam (and the development of its mirror image in the west - radical right-wing Christian Fundamentalism). What was striking about every single profile of Radical Islamic leaders is that they started out as moderate reformists, and were transformed into radical Muslims immediately after being subjected to prolonged imprisonment and torture.

7:05 AM  
Anonymous DHSmd said...


The documentary is "The Power of Nightmares"

7:08 AM  

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