Hannity Tells Waterboarded Shock Jock It’s Still Not Torture

By Justin Gardner | Related entries in Partisan Hacks, Torture, Video

If Hannity can’t admit that something is torture after having a friend undergo the technique and claim emphatically that it is, what else to say except it’s high time he makes good on his promise and goes through the process himself.

By the way, most of you know I don’t make it a habit to embed clips from Olbermann’s show on the site, but this is a notable exception because that’s the venue Muller chose to disclose the information. And I think he comes off rather well in comparison to Olbermann’s sullen partisan soldier routine.


This entry was posted on Thursday, May 28th, 2009 and is filed under Partisan Hacks, Torture, Video. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

24 Responses to “Hannity Tells Waterboarded Shock Jock It’s Still Not Torture”

  1. Paul Says:

    Keith Olbermann is a schmuck and a know it all who does Liberal/Left causes no credit !

  2. itanshi Says:

    I don’t see Mancow sulking away from this. He demands the public eye and now he has a fight. Go get him!

  3. Simon Says:

    Advocatus diaboli: whether something is torture is an entirely subjective question? If Hannity can’t admit that listening to ELO is torture after having a friend undergo the technique and claim emphatically that it is, is he wrong?

  4. DK Says:

    I think the fact that Hannity won’t undergo the procedure, even after saying he would do so, is a clear indication that deep down Hannity believes it IS torture.

    The question of whether or not waterboarding is torture is a smokescreen hiding the real division behind the scenes: whether or not torture is OK in some circumstances. I think most people who claim waterboarding is not torture actually probably feel it is, or could be, but that it is irrelevant because torture should be permissible in some cases.

  5. DK Says:

    Oh, and Olbermann is no worse a schmuck than Hannity, Limbaugh, Beck, or any of the other right-wing schmucks. He’s just a left-wing schmuck.

  6. theWord Says:

    While Hannity Beck and Limbaugh are schmucks of the right wing variety, (they would be schmucks in any category) we don’t have anyone close to a left wing schmuck. The Right is so far to the right that anyone in the middle is called a leftist. (It’s the same tactic on the court-Who is the antithesis of Scalia? No one is close)

    I get the feeling that people feel fair and balanced by saying both sides are the same. They aren’t, not even close. Stop saying it without pointing out what they have said that is in the same league as making fun of Clinton’s teeenage daughters looks, or saying that 911 widows were lucky. There is NOTHING that I am aware of that has been said that is that reprehensible on the moderate/left side. If you know of something point it out. Otherwise, you are just blowing smoke.

    Hannity is a coward. He has no honor and no dignity.

    And Simon, it’s not subjective since we have already clearly defined that waterboarding is torture repeatedly. I think you even said it was in an earlier post. Having an argument on whether torture is torture is torture. It’s tortured logic and anyone doing it should be ashamed. If you want to argue for torture do it, but stop being a wimp about it. It’s dishonest.

  7. kranky kritter Says:

    I think Hannity should man up and be a good sport and do it live on Fox, and he coulod even raise some charity dollars by doing so.

    Actually, that would make great reality TV. Maybe they can get 20 people to do it, and see what they say before and afterward. I’d watch that.

  8. Chris Says:

    When hanity gets waterboarded, I’ll donate 10k to charity if it’s my piss instead of water that’s used.

  9. Rich Says:

    That was not what waterboarding is. There is no way a person can breathe with water being poured into their mouths like that. One could easily aspirate water into their lungs with the action displayed in the video. It is very likely that the DJ who let this be done to him could be harmed or killed with the technique demonstrated.

    According to the memos that Obama released a few weeks ago, waterboarding is not the pouring of large quantities of water directly into a person’s mouth. According to the document, the water is placed on the cloth. When the cloth is saturated, it is lowered so it covers the mouth and nose. The saturated cloth restricts the airflow by about 50%, making harder – but not impossible – to keep breathing. It induces panic with little – if any – potential for temporary or permanent physical harm.

    I know all of you will jump all over me for pointing this out, but so be it. All I’m doing is pointing out a simple fact that any of you can easily verify by reading the memo that Obama released. If you close your eyes to the truth, the ignorance is yours alone.

  10. Rich Says:

    But the way, you will notice that I did NOT make claims as to whether or not I considered it torture. Just that what was shown in the video is not what waterboarding really is….

  11. theWord Says:

    Rich I think makes a good point. They likely did not do it the same way. The flip side is tha Mancow KNEW a few things. They were not going to take it past the point he could not handle and he was not going to die. He chose to let it happen to him. He was not being tortured by people who had a personal grudge against him.

    I would think that all of those would up the terror quotient for the torturee (if that is a word) far beyond what anyone being waterboarded as a test would experience.

    I still think it is sad that in this great country the issue is not that we have betrayed everything we stood for for 200 years but rather whether we can nit pick it into acceptibility. We should all be ashamed that Bush and the apologists have surrendered to the terrorists. We are a better people than that—or we were.

  12. Simon Says:

    # theWord Says:

    Who is the antithesis of Scalia? No one is close

    Breyer. Justice Breyer very ably represents both kinds of respectable liberal judicial philosophy, as set out very lucidly in his book Active Liberty. (The disreputable liberal judicial philosophy represented by someone like Justice Douglas is, fortunately, no longer represented, although Ginsburg has her moments; even if it were, however, it would not in any event be an antithesis of Scalia.)

    And Simon, it’s not subjective since we have already clearly defined that waterboarding is torture repeatedly. I think you even said it was in an earlier post. Having an argument on whether torture is torture is torture. It’s tortured logic and anyone doing it should be ashamed. If you want to argue for torture do it, but stop being a wimp about it. It’s dishonest.

    Your ability to miss the point is impressive. You might have better luck answering my point if you try reading it first.

  13. Rich Says:

    Although I’m sure there are occassional exceptions, I seriously doubt that interrogators “had personal grudges” against the prisoners – at least, not in the manner we see from the “bad cops” on the TV shows.

    Their primary goal was to try to get credible information from the terrorists. You can’t do that if the person is, for whatever reason, unable to talk.

    They were not doing it for fun, to inflict their own personal punishment, exact revenge for friends/family that was injured/killed, or whatever.

    Although I’m on the fence about waterboarding (they did protray it properly in the movie “Rendition”, though), I definately don’t think it is “torture” for a prisoner to experience sleep deprivation, loud music, harmless bugs/caterpillars in their cells, tasteless food and drink, slightly elevated or decreased temperatures, hard mattresses to lie on, having to wear pink underware, etc.

    Others may disagree.

    I don’t think it’s an insult to be hit by a shoe, either, but there are some in this world that would kill a person that threw a shoe at them….

  14. theWord Says:

    Simon some would look to the fact that their verbiage causes their message to be misinterpreted as a failure on their own part to communicate effectively. My point was that it “should be” a settled question. So for that reason, even the devil should not be able to take that side. As to Breyer and Ginsburg, I doubt many Progressives would feel they are as liberal as Scalia is conservative. Many conservative believe they have a liberal court now and it is packed with conservatives.

    Rich-My point was not that the torturers were having a party, although I would say that some more honorable people refused to do it. The point was that the people being tortured had reason to believe that since they were being tortured by people from the USA and we had undergone a terror attack that they likely felt they had a dog in the fight(unlike the scenario where you ask someone to demonstrate torture on you) My bad for not making that more clear.

  15. Simon Says:

    TheWord, my point was quite clear. I did not, as you apparently read me to say, intimate that waterboarding was not torture; indeed, I made no comment on that point whatsoever. The premise of Justin’s post, it seems to me, is that Hannity’s response is absurd in questioning whether waterboarding is torture, and that it’s absurd not because we believe ex ante that waterboarding is torture, but because his friend has told him that it felt torturous. My comment – explicitly stated as a devil’s advocate question – tested that premise by questioning whether a person’s testimony that, subjectively, the experience of a thing felt like torture makes that thing torture, or enhances the case that it is.

    You’re right that many conservatives believe we have a liberal court now, and that’s only because the court keeps making high profile liberal decisions in ways that fundamentally undermine the American project of self-government, removing classes of issue from the table. Breyer is quite candid about this, by the way: he seems to believe that judges ought to make democracy function better by taking the really hot-button and controversial issues off the table, constitutionalizing them and (to paraphrase Souter’s language from Casey) calling on the two sides to accept a common mandate rooted in the Constitution. Of course, that’s a sham, because one could just as easily ask liberals to accept legalizing abortion state-by-state as a common mandate rooted in the Constitution as one can ask conservatives to accept abortion on demand as a common mandate rooted in the Constitution. The former would at least have the virtue of being what the Constitution actually says on the matter, i.e. nothing at all. (Which, by the way, is not what many prolife folks want the court to decide – which is why your idea of Scalia as a “conservative” judge is a little awkward. He is a conservative judge, but in the judicial, procedural sense, not the political, substantive sense. That’s what I mean in distinguishing Breyer from Douglas: Douglas was a liberal in the substantive sense. The liberal side wins was his philosophy. Breyer is a liberal in the procedural sense: he’s going to read the legal materials in the most liberal way they can possibly be read, but he’s not going to ignore them entirely. Unless he absolutely has to.)

  16. Simon Says:

    Also, I don’t agree that there’s a great deal of conservative judicial activism going on in the federal courts today, but let’s stipulate that there is. It’s interesting to look at what the cases cited as examples of it tell us of its character. On that assumption, a general theme emerges: conservative judicial activism is enabling, while liberal judicial activism is directory.

    The classic example of liberal judicial activism is abortion: the court has said, time and again, that neither states nor the federal government can impose any kind of meaningful restriction on abortion. “Thou shalt not.” Directory.

    Contrast, then, the cases cited as examples of conservative judicial activism. I’ll give a structural example and a rights example. For the former, take the anticomandeering cases. New York and Printz did not say that Congress couldn’t pass gun registration and toxic waste statutes: they said merely that if Congress wanted to do so, they had to be willing to pay the price both literal and plitical. Congress can’t simply comandeer and hide behind state legislatures and state law enforcement officers, they must allocate federal resources to do it and risk the wrath of the voters. For the latter, consider the recent steps to circumscribe the exclusionary rule in Hudson and Herring. Again, these are enabling rather than directory. Nothing in them prevents states or Congress from amending their rules of evidence to the same effect as the restrictions they trimmed back on; indeed, by narrowing the policy, those cases increased the range of options available to the political branches. Thus, I think it’s fair to call this approach enabling.

    Whether one is better than the other is a judgment call, but to the extent that most Americans tend to believe that the people should govern themselves, I would think that most people would agree that an enabling approach which expands the realm of self-government, is preferable to a directory approach which constricts it.

    [Addenda: ironic captcha phrase: "up justice"]

  17. theWord Says:

    Simon- Thanks for the clarifications. I guess where our mileage varies is that which cases are going to be heard is IMO a kind of activism. They have the potential to make a huge difference in where the country does or does not go. For example, was there really nothing in the past eight years that might have been looked into? No constitutional issues at all that may have been clarified? I find that very hard to believe.

    I’d like to see everyone held to the same standards but those driving the car generally decide the future road travelled.

  18. Rich Says:

    Word,
    Thanks for the clarification.

    However, if “the enemy” believes that we MIGHT take certain actions, couldn’t that be an incentive for them to cooperate or a deterrant for them to take certain actions (like attack us again)?

    Wasn’t that how the US won the cold war? The Soviets believed that we WOULD retalliate with a nuclear strike if they struck us? Regardless of if we really would’ve or not, they HAD to beleive we were capable of responding in kind. Maybe they even feared we would initiate an attack, so they tried to build up an arsenal to counter ours – even to the point where they bankrupted themselves in magnificant display.

    If the enemy percieves the US as weak or unwilling to engage in defensive/retalliatory actions, that will embolden the enemy and increase the likelyhood that we will be attacked again.

    My point is this: I do not think we should torture. Especially the “stereotypical” methods, which leave permanent injury or disability (like McCain endured in Vietnam, WW2 prisoners that Japan held, etc). My hat is off to those interrogators who refuse to perform “gray area” techniques that they feel cross the line. However, I feel that the list, instructions, etc that define what we can and can not do, how we do them, etc should be TOP SECRET. To a degree, the enemy should consider us capable of their WORST fears – even if we really have no intention of ever implementing them. That is why I feel Obama was reckless and irresponsible for releasing that document for political gain while putting the nation in harms way. Dispicable. Now, NK is launching missles left and right and testing nuclear bombs. They now perceive us as weak and are taking advantage of it. Thanks alot, Mr. President!!

    Ever see the movie “The Negotiator”, where Danny Roman made everyone believe he killed a fellow officer when he really just knocked him unconscious? Is knocking someone out like that “right”? Certainly not. But he made the point that he was not really the “bad guy” that he was being portrayed to be.

    Here is a question for you…..who would you, personally, be more fearful of being “interrogated” by – US intelligence personnel in Gitmo or Al Queda in Iraq interrogators.

    Personally, in light of the “interrogation instruction manuals” that I’ve seen from both sides, I’d rather be in “Club Gitmo” (to coin a Limbaugh-ism).

    I know that could be perceived as a “we’re not as bad as them, so we’re OK” mentality, but only if you take it out of context.

  19. the Word Says:

    Rich-

    However, if “the enemy” believes that we MIGHT take certain actions, couldn’t that be an incentive for them to cooperate or a deterrant for them to take certain actions (like attack us again)?

    Hypotheticals are such a dangerous path to tread. The same reasoning might get you to the conclusion that we should elect the most psychologically deranged President possible to really mess with them.

    My belief is that we inflamed the whole world and increased the number of enemies by our reckless and unprincipled actions. If it was something Washington said no to in the most dangerous of times, that is the standard I think we should live up to. I think America leads best when it leads by example.

    As to the Cold War, to hear Republicans Reagan won it.

    You said
    That is why I feel Obama was reckless and irresponsible for releasing that document for political gain while putting the nation in harms way. Dispicable. Now, NK is launching missles left and right and testing nuclear bombs. They now perceive us as weak and are taking advantage of it. Thanks alot, Mr. President!!

    We obviously see things differently. North Korea blew off Bush also and IMO the Iraq war was a signal to North Korea and Iran that they better get nuclear weapons. You’ll notice that it all happened under Bush’s “leadership”. Were you to live in any country right now wouldn’t you think the only prudent action was to develop nukes since we no longer operate under the rule of law?

    Here is a question for you…..who would you, personally, be more fearful of being “interrogated” by – US intelligence personnel in Gitmo or Al Queda in Iraq interrogators.

    When you are terrified I don’t think it would make a damn bit of difference

    I know that could be perceived as a “we’re not as bad as them, so we’re OK” mentality, but only if you take it out of context.

    I actually don’t know what context wouldn’t put it there.

    The comment has been made several times that judging Obama by Bush sets the bar abnormally low. I’d have to say that when it comes to morality, decency and leadership we should set the standard. We certainly shouldn’t go to people who are barbaric savages for our cues.

  20. Simon Says:

    theWord Says:

    I guess where our mileage varies is that which cases are going to be heard is IMO a kind of activism.

    You mean cases where the court didn’t grant cert, or cases where litigants were told they didn’t have standing? What cases do you have in mind?

  21. theWord Says:

    Cert is what I was getting at but even on standing I would think there are situations where the court’s discretion means that different cases and issues get addressed. I think it makes a huge difference and I would venture a guess that a court with a different balance would have chosen some different cases. Hopefully, most would have been the same but I am flabbergasted that nothing done in the Bush years was worthy of review. Not by the House, Senate or the supposedly impartial Court. We shouldn’t even have issues like torture to kick around. There should be no doubt what the law is on such an important topic.

  22. Simon Says:

    If you’re saying that there are cases where the court should have granted cert and didn’t, what cases do you have in mind? The court’s docket is described as discretionary, but that’s really something of a misnomer: its docket is à la carte. It can only take the cases that are there to take, and whenever I see someone complaining about the docket–usually in the context of their complaining that it’s too small–my question is always the same, yet rarely answered: what examples of certworthy cases do you have in mind?

    As to standing, I don’t know what cases the court has rebuffed on prudential standing grounds that fit your thesis. (Obviously when the infirmity is article III standing, the court doesn’t have discretion in its disposition of the cases, even if it sometimes claims it, as in Mass v. EPA, for example). Again, I’d ask if you have particular cases in mind.

    Lastly, it’s worth remembering–because your comment seems to suggest overwise–that the role of the courts is not to authoritatively answer pressing legal questions, or to conduct a free-floating review of the constitutional decisions of other government actors. “our Constitution lacks a Judicial Review Clause. The reason why judges are entitled to make constitutional decisions is that the Constitution is real law. That’s Marbury‘s central point. A written constitution creates a hierarchy of legal rules; and when the Constitution clashes with an ordinary law, the Constitution prevails.” Frank Easterbrook, Foreign Sources and the Constitution, 30 Harv. J. of L. & P.P. 223, 226 (2006) (footnote omitted; emphasis in original). To be sure, as the famous aphorism from Marbury goes, “[i]t is emphatically the province and duty of the judicial department to say what the law is,” 5 U.S. at 177, but that duty is easily misunderstood: it is a choice-of-law rule, a duty to prefer the Constitution over contrary laws and actions in deciding the case at bar. It is not a free-roaming license to vindicate the Constitution. The power of judicial review is necessarily tied to the jurisdictional grant of Article III: the power to decide cases and controversies. That grant of power requires federal courts have “a context to provide an appropriate occasion for saying the law: judges say the law because they have to in order to resolve a specific dispute between parties.” Ann Althouse, Saying What Rights Are – In and Out of Context, 1991 Wis. L. Rev. 929, 940. Legal questions about the Bush administration may be great fun to kick around, but until they concretely affect the rights of real litigants, they aren’t the concern of the federal courts.

  23. Michael Says:

    Mancow stated he felt the effects for two days and had chest pains from that little sprinkling of water.

    ROFLMAO

    I served 20+ years for this great country and now realize that we are becoming a country of wimps.

    Make no mistake those who capture one of ours will do much worse than pour some water on your face.

    Michael

  24. Ian Jones Says:

    I have to agree that the law on torture needs to be tightened up. It’s shocking to think that regulations governing such a crucial issue leave room for interpretation. There shouldn’t be any degree of ambiguity whatsoever and the government needs to realise this. By taking a stronger stance on the subject, court cases will be able to be solved in a much more straightforward manner and with a greater degree of fairness. The current legislation only seems to promote and encourage debate, not put a stop to it.

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