Former GOP Congressman Thinks We Should Torture Our Enemies "Like Animals"

Seriously, is he really allowed to see his kids or to own pets?
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Seriously, is he really allowed to see his kids or to own pets?
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Yes, torture them like animals. Law enforcement should be keeping a closer eye on former congressman Joe Walsh. We'll circle back to that presently. The tea party Republican, current talk radio host and short-fusedex-deadbeat-dad was in the news again yesterday after tweeting the following:


For reasons that defy logic and journalistic standards, this malignant bastard was invited to repeat his inflammatory nonsense on CNN where he said, among other things, "The way you defeat an animal, Carol, oftentimes is to act like one."

What's extraordinary about Walsh's remarks is that he clearly has no problem, 1) referring to enhanced interrogation as "torture," and 2) admitting that he thinks it's both effective and justified. This is a long way from President Bush repeatedly insisting, "We don't torture." We absolutely tortured, says this former member of Congress. No more euphemisms.

Contrast this with Rep. Pete King's (R-NY) statement yesterday in which he laughed off the techniques as barely uncomfortable, much less torturous.

“We’re not talking about anyone being burned or stabbed or cut or anything like that. We’re talking about people being made to stand in awkward positions, have water put into their nose and into their mouth. Nobody suffered any lasting injuries from this.”

First of all, the report clearly stated that at least one detainee died of hypothermia while being chained to the floor; another detainee was beaten and dragged through the corridors of the dungeon; and who the hell knows what happened to the other detainees who were waterboarded, rectally violated, forced to stand on broken bones, and who were kept awake for seven days at a time? No "lasting injuries?" Lie. King flatly lied during his TV interview and has probably repeated this exact same lie in numerous other forums since the release of the Senate report.

As for "stand in awkward positions," not only does this downplay, for instance, standing in stress positions on broken feet or legs, but it's lightyears away from torturing them like animals. So, which is it? Did we merely dribble water on their heads, like Pete King would have us believe, or did we outright torture them like King's former GOP colleague in the House, Joe Walsh, said? Clearly, Joe Walsh has the word usage correct, but his justifications for doing it are almost as immoral as being the actual dungeon-master.

Further, it's obvious that Joe Walsh's support for torture is all about punishment rather than intelligence gathering. And his repeated use of the word "animals" in this context sounds like a big red flag. Does he seriously think it's okay to torture animals -- either real ones or figurative ones? If he's okay with torturing figurative ones, then how does he feel about actual animals?

Morality during war isn't a binary state. Armies kill other armies and sometimes civilians, which is morally ambiguous at best, but it's generally accepted as a last resort and seldom is it frivolously pursued. Torture, on the other hand, exists outside both the rules and the thin moral justifications for war. There's something dark and visceral about it that sets it apart from bombing and shooting, each of which have concrete strategic purposes, specifically to dwindle an enemy's ability to fight. It's the pointless, one-on-one sadism of torture that makes it so awful -- it's the slow, brutal, mind-fuck that makes it so unimaginably horrifying beyond the horrors of a typical battlefield where death is often faster. In terms of practicality, unlike battle, torture against an enemy combatant is ultimately pointless to a nation's war effort since:

1) the combatant has already been removed from the field and therefore is no longer an immediate threat;

2) torture has long been proven to be ineffectual as a means of intelligence gathering; and,

3) it undermines the morality of a nation's cause.

So, what's the point of it? There's no point other than to wantonly inflict endless, terrifying, psychological and physical pain against a prisoner who, by definition, is no longer a threat -- the sort of pain which, for obviously twisted reasons, Joe Walsh thinks is awesome.

You know what? I agree with Glenn Greenwald. I can't believe this cretin was a member of Congress.

Adding... Also, this.