Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Republican debate: I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of

Another Republican debate! Yay!

On Iraq, McCain said, “I will be the last man standing if necessary.” Now that’s a surge I’d like to see!

Romney talked about the “global jihadist effort” to establish a caliphate and destroy the West. “And they’ve come together as Shi’a and Sunni and Hezbollah and Hamas and the Muslim Brotherhood and al Qaeda with that intent.” He sees “Shi’a and Sunni” as terrorist organizations just like Hamas and Al Qaida.

Brownback blamed environmental problems on teenage girls: “My family, we have a hybrid car. In that car you can get up to 42, 43 miles to the gallon. Now my 17-year-old daughter does about 25 on it, so it does matter how you drive it.”

Romney is running against the state he governored, repeatedly calling it a “pretty tough state.” “You’ve heard of blue states. If you ever bought a suit and you look at it and you can’t tell if it’s blue or black, that’s how blue Massachusetts is.” That’s pretty fucking blue. Or black. Anyway, I’m pretty sure what Romney is saying it that he hates black people, just like the Mormon church used to.

Huckabee, who said that Congress spends money like John Edwards at a beauty shop, ha ha, said that opposition to abortion, like looking for lost hikers, shows we value life, “and it’s what separates us from the Islamic jihadists who are out to kill us. They celebrate death. They have a culture of death. Ours is a culture of life.” Funny, because I think he’d find that he’s very much on the same page as the Islamic jihadists about abortion. And they probably don’t like John Edwards’s haircut either.

Brownback, asked how he would tell a pregnant rape victim she’d be forced to give birth: “Will that make the woman in a better situation if that’s what takes place? And I don’t think so, and I think we can explain it when we look at it for what it is: a beautiful child of a loving God”. I’m pretty sure Brownback just called God a rapist.

Tancredo on how all the other candidates are stealing his platform of hating hating hating immigrants: “I’m glad they happen. But I must tell you, I trust those conversions when they happen on the road to Damascus and not on the road to Des Moines.” They have roads in Iowa now?

Ron Paul said something or other about terrorists acting in response to American foreign policy, and Giuliani took umbrage, “as someone who lived through the attack of September 11”. Remember when Dan Quayle called himself a “Vietnam-era veteran”?

And of course the hypothetical “What Would Jack Bauer Do” question. If there were terrorist attacks just like at the beginning of this season of “24,” would you torture someone to get information? They all (of the ones asked) agreed that they would torture someone, but call it something else. I include John McCain in that: he made a strong case against torture but said that Army Field Manual interrogation procedures “would be adequate in 999,999 of cases”. Out of 1 million, I’m assuming, although it could have been out of 10 million, he didn’t say. Still, even McCain wanted to leave himself the option.

Giuliani said “I would tell the people who had to do the interrogation to use every method they could think of. It shouldn’t be torture, but every method they can think of...” It’s Giuliani time!

Romney liked the mention of Guantanamo in the hypothetical, because “they don’t get the access to lawyers,” and said we should double Guantanamo. There was applause. And we should use enhanced interrogation techniques have to be used -- not torture but enhanced interrogation techniques”.

Duncan Hunter says he’d order the use of “very high-pressure techniques” and get the information within an hour.

Then the hypothetical was added to. The terrorists are being trained in camps in a West African country. We’re looking at you, Togo! Should we go the UN before nuking it? Brownback says no.

By the time they got to him, Tancredo was upset. “[I]t’s almost unbelievable to listen to this in a way. We’re talking about -- we’re talking about it in such a theoretical fashion.” Because it’s a hypothetical? Tancredo asked, with outrage in his voice, why are they even discussing whether waterboarding would be bad? He wants to waterboard someone now, now dammit! I’m looking at you, Huckabee!

Tom Tancredo thinks that “24” is a documentary.

Chris Wallace asked if candidates worried about all ten being white (or as Romney might put it, so white they’re almost pink). He did not think to ask if they worried about all ten being male. Nor did it occur to any of the candidates to talk about that.

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