Monday, November 14, 2005

Window on the wingnuts

I don't wander through the out fringes of the wingnutosphere very often, but every once in a while Google takes me someplace unexpected.

Ever been to World Net Daily? Henry Lamb seems to be my rough anti-matter counterpart -- writing partisan rants and listing membership in think tank-y places no one has heard of. And what does Mr. Lamb tee off against? Democrats' double standard on leaks, that's what.

Mr. Lamb is peeved that Democrats objected to the outing of Valerie Plame, but have not shown similar outrage about the leaking of knowledge of our prison facilities in eastern Europe.

Now I have no problem distinguishing between the two leaks. (Pay attention here, Judy.) There is simply no way to fit what Scooter and Karl did into any rational definition of whistleblowing -- they did not expose illegality happening above their pay grade. Whoever exposed the use of "off the books" prison camps did exactly that. Leaking that story will (I hope) lead to the termination of unconstitutional clandestine human rights violations by our own government. Simple. But Mr. Lamb doesn't see it that way.

The fact that we are operating former Soviet gulags is perfectly fine with him. It is so much a part of business as usual in his view that exposing it is indeed a crime. Stopping torture, extraordinary renditions and the like isn't even a side issue for these guys -- they would see curtailing such policies as a serious mistake. And so anyone who takes a contrary position is a traitor.

Former President Jimmy Carter said: "I never even considered the fact that our country would be debating whether or not we could continue to torture prisoners around the world in secret prisons."

Carter's thoughtless assumption that these detainees are tortured is disgusting.

Yeah. Where would Jimmuh get an idea like that?

Lamb also takes refuge in the "only pansies call what we do torture" defense.

Terrorists detained by the U.S. complain of being kept too cold or too hot or forced to listen to Western music or that their U.S.-supplied Quran is not handled properly. Torture indeed!
And of course he repeats the undead assertion that Valerie Plame was not actually worthy of protection because her CIA status was common knowledge. As Chick Hearn used to say, "no blood, no foul."

The bad news here is that it is probably not worth trying to engage Mr. Lamb and his ilk. Their world view is so utterly at odds with ours that meaningful discussion is probably impossible. But I think there is great value in exposing the abhorrent and delusional views that lead to the policies we are battling against. It is important because by and large Americans do not condone torture, and making the debate as stark as that -- do you want to condone torture or not? -- creates a rare confluence of the morally necessary and the poltically savvy. Pin this offensive tripe to the administration, and the polls will continue to be Shrub's cement galoshes.

In short, perhaps the best thing we can do is show middle America that our cowardly lions and this nutjob of a Lamb lie down together. Perhaps then the rest of us will finally get some sleep.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

bill ( gamble all my $$ away ) bennett had the same crap to say recently - all i can say is 'what a bunch of jagoffs and a**holes' - jissis

3:11 AM  

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