McCain mumbles something about popular culture

| December 20, 2012 | 25 Comments

Because that’s the only thing going in the world today, John McCain and some other Senators wrote a letter to the producer of “Oh Dark Thirty” in regards to their portrayal of the torturing of al-Qaida’s No. 3 leader, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed. Apparently, they think the poplar opinion that bin Laden’s location was tortured out of KSM, or at least, a way to locate him. But McCain, because there’s nothing else to do in Washington today wrote to Sony;

In their letter to Sony, the lawmakers said the “use of torture in the fight against terrorism did severe damage to America’s values and standing that cannot be justified or expunged. It remains a stain on our national conscience. We cannot afford to go back to these dark times, and with the release of `Zero Dark Thirty,’ the filmmakers and your production studio are perpetuating the myth that torture is effective. You have a social and moral obligation to get the facts right.”

Ho-hum. Waterboarding is not torture, I don’t care how you look at it. So get over it, Johnny. My conscience isn’t stained. The issue I might have with the film is that if they show the killing of bin Laden like they did in that POS National Geographic thing, the inaccuracy is glaring. In that movie, the SEAL was shown deliberately double-tapping bin Laden, but according to the eye witness account of Matt Bissonnette in his book, “No Easy Day“, bin Laden peeked around the corner of the door to his room and got drilled without anyone even knowing it was him and it took several minutes for them to report that bin Laden was dead because they couldn’t ID the body because his face was disfigured.

I mean if McCain has nothing else to do in Washington, what with the impending Obama Tax Hikes and gun control legislation being jammed through to Congress, then he should at least complain about something important in the movies. Didn’t McCain once say that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people – he doesn’t have to live up that.

Category: Hollywood shitbags, John McCain/Sarah Palin

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  1. NHSparky says:

    Personally, I don’t see what the big deal is over this movie. We knew it was little more than an Obama re-election video (thanks, Mr. Weinstein) made by Kathryn Bigelow, whose previous work on Hurt Locker ensured this would be just as bad, if not worse.

    And now the Hollywood “elites” are giving this steaming pile Golden Globe nominations, etc. Color me surprised.

    But no, Senator–this is not all that big a deal in the “big flick.” Try keeping us from going over the cliff, etc., first, mkay?

  2. CI says:

    McCain should be more concerned with how clownish the Hurt Locker made EOD look.

    Waterboarding has always been considered torture. I have far less issue with it’s practice when warranted, as I do with bullshit relabeling [Enhanced Interrogation]. PC exists on both sides of the political dial.

  3. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Let me see if I have this straight. McCain and Feinstein, among other senators, wrote a letter to Sony because of a Hollywood movie that contains information that the senators view as without factual support? And this Hollywood film is NOT a documentary? At the same time, we have an administration that repeatedly said and steadfastly maintained that Benghazi was a protest that got (ahem!) out of hand? Jeez.

  4. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    As for water boarding as torture, it all depends on what definition you use of torture. Being stranded on a desert island with two other people is not torture, all here would agree. But make those two other people Insipid and Joe and swimming away to certain death is a desirable option to escape that horrifying torture.

  5. CI says:

    @4 – Can’t argue that fact….

  6. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    I wish I was surprised by this, I am not. Washington loves to shift focus away from their continued ineptitude in resolving important issues of the day by shining a light on something meaningless like a work of fiction by a hack director with zero vision for truthfulness. She got her degree from the Oliver Stone Institute of Historical Accuracy. The Hurt Locker was a steaming pile of sh1t and I would not be surprised to discover that Zero Dark Thirty is another steaming pile of sh1t. The fact that a bunch of drug addled, fornicating liars who pretend to be artists want to shower it with accolades only confirms my suspicion.

    McCain was wrong for the presidency, and he’s still wrong for the Senate. Any integrity he had was lost years ago with his involvement in the banking scandal…once a liar and a cheat always a liar and a cheat. It renders your opinions a bit less worthwhile to honest folk.

  7. USMCE8Ret says:

    It’s a shame there aren’t term limitations for Senators and Congress-folk, so elected officials like McCain (and others) end up embedded in office for countless years and who loose sight of who they work for during their first term. Beyond that, McCain’s efforts to be a moral beacon are fruitless, and his objection to such military movies is something we’ve likely all objected to a long time ago – so it’s not news to us. He’s behind the power curve like everyone else is in the Beltway.

    As far as water-boarding goes, call it whatever you want. I don’t find it objectionable. What I do find objectionable is kowtowing and placating to a style of radicalized religion that is still caught in the 7th century and breed violence… the same radicalized religion that embraces “torture” itself. At least water-boarding is something they can understand, because they don’t know anything else.

  8. Nik says:

    “As far as water-boarding goes, call it whatever you want. I don’t find it objectionable. What I do find objectionable is kowtowing and placating to a style of radicalized religion that is still caught in the 7th century and breed violence… the same radicalized religion that embraces “torture” itself. At least water-boarding is something they can understand, because they don’t know anything else.”

    Very much this.

  9. Veritas Omnia Vincit says:

    Waterboarding is certainly far less objectionable than sawing off someone’s head with large bladed weapon….the leaders of our enemy have set up ROE for dealing with prisoners, they should expect to receive what they have dictated to be the terms at a minimum.

    Give no quarter, receive no quarter. Ask the Japanese how that worked out for them, they can give the muslim murderers some insight I am certain…flame throwing tanks tend to be less discriminating than SF troopers.

  10. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    I grew up with a slew of siblings and we tortured each other all the time. It served no higher purpose than to cause one another pain and discomfort. One of my brothers was subjected to the Chinese water torture. As I recall, we poked a small hole in a bucket and tied him down with the bucket hung over his forehead. He was a jerk and was quite desrerving. We got in trouble for it. Boy, was our Mom ticked when she saw what we had done to that bucket!!

  11. SSG Medzyk says:

    Hey John, remeber a while ago when you were at camp, and the counselors repeatedly broke you arms and legs and beat you sensless? Then they invited you to Christmas dinner but you decided to mouth off to them instead, and they broke your arms and legs and beat you senseless again? And you came home crippled because of all the hands on counseling? All because you crashed your airplane after getting hit with a missile after you (thankfully) killed untold hundreds if not thousands of their camp buddies, while in the US Navy?

    Yeah, see, THAT was torture.

    Making some murderous islamic asshole pretend that he may be drowning with zero physical affects? Not so much.

  12. JA says:

    Waterboarding isn’t torture? Really? We hanged Japanese for doing it to our soldiers.

    A member of the Doolitle Raid called it torture:
    then-Lt. Chase J. Nielsen, one of the 1942 Army Air Forces officers who flew in the Doolittle Raid and was captured by the Japanese, testified: “I was given several types of torture. . . . I was given what they call the water cure.” He was asked what he felt when the Japanese soldiers poured the water. “Well, I felt more or less like I was drowning,” he replied, “just gasping between life and death.”

    Or do you think LT Nielsen was just being a wuss?

    We have a lot of legal precedent that water-boarding is torture. There are cases going back to 1902.

  13. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    @12.

    “We hanged Japanese for doing it to our soldiers.” We hanged Japanese for waterborading our people? There was no other reason? Is that what you are offering? I’d like to know before I research the matter of precisely what specific war crimes some Japanese were hanged for committing.

  14. Hondo says:

    JA: calling the Japanese interrogation methods involving water used during World War II “waterboarding” is stretching things. The Japanese World War II torture technique called the “water cure” was quite different from the technique today called “waterboarding”.

    The “water cure” forces unsafe amounts of water into their digestive tract and/or lungs of the victim, up to (and sometimes including) loss of consciousness, via any number of different means – only one of which involves the use of a cloth covering the mouth. The victim is then shaken or beaten the to force out the water and make them regain consciousness. The process is then repeated until the interrogators get what they want, decide to stop, or kill the victim. That’s a bit different that present-day waterboarding.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_cure_%28torture%29

    In point of fact, your quote clearly indicates LT Nielsen said he was subject to the “water cure”, not what we call today waterboarding. They’re two distinct and different things. And if you’re referring to the 1902 cases from the Philippines as precedent – best I can tell, those incidents were also the “water cure”, not what we call today waterboarding.

    I’m not defending either practice; the “water cure” is clearly torture, while “waterboarding” is doubtless a harsh and nasty interrogation technique that IMO comes quite close to the line of the permissible and could easily cross it if mishandled. But you undercut your own argument when you refer to the two interchangeably. They are not the same.

  15. JA says:

    @13, First: I do need to read the case to see if it was ONLY for waterboarding. Alternatively, if there was a conviction for waterboarding and (say) beheading prisoners, I would have to see if each specification carried a death penalty.

    However, for sake of argument, lets agree that they hanged them for waterboarding AND some other heinous action.

    Even with such an admission the fact remains that waterboarding has been determined to be “Torture”. If not actual “res judicata” then certainly in the mind of LT Nielsen who calls it torture. Again, maybe LT Nieslen is just a wuss, but if he calls it torture, then it probably was. I would also point out that I am selecting a single example because citing ALL of them would piss off blog comment readers.

  16. JA says:

    @14, We DO need to be percise in terminology. What EXACTLY happened in the Nielsen case, I don’t know. HOWEVER, in another case heard before the same tribunal:
    A towel was fixed under the chin and down over the face. Then many buckets of water were poured into the towel so that the water gradually reached the mouth and rising further eventually also the nostrils, which resulted in his becoming unconscious and collapsing like a person drowned. This procedure was sometimes repeated 5-6 times in succession.

    That happened to a POW in the Dutch East Indies. It seems clear that we tried and probably convicted Japanese for waterboarding.

    Very correct and good point that water cure does not equal water boarding.

  17. JAGC says:

    There are some significant differences between historic waterboarding and the US version in terms of scope, oversight, selectivity, method, etc. Waterboarding dates back to the 15th century and besides the Japanese and other examples, has been conducted by rogue US soldiers in Vietnam and rogue law enforcement officers in the south. In each of those cases, the facts greatly differ from the aforementioned US version.

    Reasonable minds can disagree as to whether the US version amounts to “torture” in the legal sense just as reasonable people can agree that the other historic examples did clearly amount to torture under those fact patterns. However, since 2005, interrogations must conform to the Army Field Manual so waterboarding is banned no matter how severe one views it.

  18. 2-17 Air Cav says:

    Okay, I did a cursory read and that settles nothing but does establish some unknown portion of the late Chase Nelson’s testimony. Whether conducting the water cure or waterboarding was the extent of any Japanese soldier’s war crime for which he was executed, I do not know. And that remains my point. I cannot even determine the full content of Nelson’s testimony, let alone whether it evidenced a war crime that triggered the death penalty. I got myself in a knot because I believe it is highly unlikely that any any of the 902 Japanese executed lost their lives solely because of waterboarding allied POWs.

  19. Casey says:

    If waterboarding is torture, then why do we waterboard those armed force members who take the SERE course?

    Isn’t that torturing our own people?

  20. Poetrooper says:

    I’m of the school that if enhanced interrogation saves friendly lives then so be it. The rationale for bombing Hiroshima and Nagasaki, killing a quarter-million Japanese civilians was that it would save the lives of many more invading allied soldiers and Japanese.

    So we can kill by the tens of thousands to save lives but we get all queasy about water-boarding some Jihadist bastard who has information about plots to kill American civilians? Sorry but I don’t buy that kind of politically correct poppycock.

    I saw Viet Cong, immediately after being captured, while the battle was continuing, subjected to some fairly brutal interrogations to determine enemy strengths and dispositions. Trust me, brutal works when time is of the essence and friendly lives are on the line. I didn’t conduct any such interrogations myself but I certainly watched from close by without objecting and I’ve never once had any regrets. Like our WWII brothers, we learned to meet brutality with brutality against an enemy that gave no quarter.

  21. WigWam says:

    Of all people John, I wouldn’t expect you to be such a PC pussy. Of course it’s torture, you’re caught up in the Government can-do-no-wrong mentality. McCain’s seen torture with his own fucking eyes, you don’t get to tell what isn’t torture.

    The government doesn’t want to be held accountable for their crimes. They’d rather escape the consequences by creating a bunch of neologisms and deny any wrongdoing. The actions of a coward. Not only does the government makes the rules, they’re above them as well. The actions of tyranny.

  22. Ex-PH2 says:

    Gee whiz, McCain was tortured by the VC when he was a guest at the Hanoi Hilton.

    Is he afraid they’re going to come back and make him do all that again if he doesn’t apologize for everything?

    It isn’t okay for us to do it, because that makes us uncivilized or something. But it’s okay for the bad guys to do it with no consequences?

  23. LCDR M(Ret) says:

    If waterboarding is torture, have they stopped doing it in certain military training schools?

  24. Tman says:

    Actually, reading a review of this movie on movieguide, the Christian movie review site, it mentions that scenes with Obama in it actually make him look bad as he was concerned with giving al qaeda legal representation and not acting as quick as he should have.

  25. USMCE8Ret says:

    I had a grandfather who would say funny stuff and embarass the sh-t out of me and anyone within ear shot. John McCain is getting to be like that somehow, exept I loved and respected my grandfather.

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