Leaning to the Left

Writing from a liberal persuasion

Live from Crazytown

Posted by Beau Winiger on April 22, 2009

I have found a new fascination, and his name is Glenn Beck. Glenn Beck now has his own talk show on Fox News, and if you have not seen his show yet I would highly recommend it. For your own safety don’t watch the show in its entirety. The Glenn Beck Show is unsafe at full dose, as it has been known to cause nausea, headache, and in rare cases explosive diarrhea. Please don’t watch the show with hopes of learning some great insight into the world of politics, but rather think of it as a trip into Crazytown. Fun to visit, but in a nervous scary kind of way. With that I present what I dread could become a semi-regular series, Live from Crazytown.

Today in Crazytown the topic was the torture memos that have recently been released, and the possibility that President Obama is now leaving the door open to prosecution (which is good since it was never a door he had the option to close). GB was visibly upset, not by the idea that we tortured, or even that the memos were released, but by the very idea that someone would call what we did torture. “We do it to our own troops,” he cried. He was referring to SERE training, military training meant to prepare troops at high risk of enemy capture for the torture they might face from enemies that do not follow the Geneva conventions. For GB the torture wasn’t torture because it is the same as the torture tactics that we use on our own troops to prepare them for torture. The intellect needed to pull off such an amazing feat of acrobatic logic is truly testament to GB’s standing as a political mind. Having laid his foundation GB set out to build his house.

Now that the very idea of the torture being torture has been proven to be false, there is no legal basis for prosecuting any former officials. The only conclusion for why Obama would want to prosecute anyone for the not-really torture is because he doesn’t agree with it. His decision to possibly prosecute some people for committing war crimes is the exact same as if he had decided to prosecute someone for preferring paper over plastic. The obvious threat here is that if Obama can just go about the country prosecuting people willy-nilly for war crimes, what could he come prosecute you for?

GB wrapped up his case with a conversation on legal spectrums. In GB’s world legal framework is best thought of in terms of wide ranging fields, i.e. you ran a redlight vs. it turned red halfway through, or you just made that guy think he was drowning for the 5th time today vs. it’s not bad because there was a doctor there to give him a tracheotomy if necessary. He was worried that if an Obama adviser were called upon to make tough decisions, decisions that might make them think out of the box and want to commit war crimes, they would be less willing to do so if they knew there was a chance they might be prosecuted as a war criminal. GB is exactly right. It takes someone with a real set of brass balls to commit war crimes in public, and I just don’t know if there is anyone in the Obama administration man enough to do it.

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2 Responses to “Live from Crazytown”

  1. Valerie said

    You are so funny. This is my favorite entry. You should be writing for a paper or magazine.

  2. Brant said

    Beau,

    I think the argument people are trying to make is that what the US was doing is not torture. The United Nations Convention Against Torture, “CAT”, defined torture as “any act by which severe pain or suffereing, whether physical or mental, is intentionally inflicted on a person for such purposes as obtaining from him or a third person information or a confession……” Obviously, this definition leaves itself open to interpretation.

    I think some people are interpreting waterboarding to not be physical or mental pain or suffering. There are others who argue that it is pain and suffering but not severe. Depending on how that is interpreted, people are then using that to say that if lives are saved as a result, it was justified.

    The problem is who gets to make the final interpretation. Based on the information that has been released, legally, the President of the US has no grounds to prosecute government officials because what was done to the detainees was not against the law. I think Glenn Beck was making the argument that if it was not against the law, then the President can’t pursue prosecution.

    For the record, no matter what information is obtained, I don’t think torture is ever justified. And I’ve never seen Glenn Beck or the “episode” that you are referring to above.

    Funny entry though.

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