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Entries Tagged as 'War'

Why Sting?

September 30th, 2011 · 9 Comments

A bit of shameless speculation about why the FBI expends so much time and energy setting up goofballs like Rezwan Ferdaus, who it seems hard to believe would manage to translate their angry fantasies into serious threats without outside help. The relative paucity of sophisticated, coordinated plots not enabled by the FBI over the past […]

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Tags: War

Torture and the Postmodern Right

August 28th, 2009 · 6 Comments

Charles Murray chides those who found his analysis of the politics of torture investigations by the Justice Department disturbingly amoral: To those who were dismayed, I’ve got worse news: I think it is permissible to talk about murder and rape in amoral terms. To talk about the Inquisition, the Holocaust, and the genocides in Armenia […]

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Tags: Horse Race Politics · Obedience and Insubordination · Sociology · War

An Ethicist at the Movies

August 25th, 2009 · 15 Comments

Jonah Goldberg looks to pop culture as a barometer of American values and concludes that many of the abhorrent practices revealed in the 2004 IG report on CIA interrogations will not be considered outrageous by the modal citizen: I’ve long been fascinated with the disconnect between what pundits, politicians and various activist groups complain about […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · War

Shame

August 24th, 2009 · 28 Comments

I don’t know why, in light of everything else that’s already come to light—we clearly did worse than making horrific but (I presume) idle threats—but this bit of the recent interrogation report filled me with a profound sense of sadness and shame: CIA interrogators threatened to kill the children of one detainee at the height […]

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Tags: Moral Philosophy · War

Your Daily Goldfarb Forehead-Smack

June 26th, 2009 · 5 Comments

An attempt to downplay the potential for backlash against perceived U.S. “meddling” in Iran: Maybe some obscure event that happened fifty years ago can explain why Egyptians would want U.S. support and Iranians wouldn’t. I realize that it’s an obscure bit of trivia for most Americans that the CIA orchestrated a coup against Mohammed Mossadeq […]

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Tags: Sociology · War

Just Reassure Me…

June 24th, 2009 · 23 Comments

…that this is self-evidently stupid enough that I don’t need to waste time commenting on it. I’d assume it was, but it’s getting linked enough that someone must have read it and not found it embarassing.

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Tags: War

We Never Make Mistakes

June 23rd, 2009 · 7 Comments

Is learning unpatriotic? The question itself might seem vaguely offensive, but one has to wonder given the howls about Obama “apologizing for America” anytime he publicly intimates that any past foreign policy of the United States might have been mistaken—or, heaven forfend,  even be the source of some degree of international animus against us. Bracket […]

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Tags: Sociology · War

DoJ Talks to Muslims! NoOooOoo!

June 23rd, 2009 · 2 Comments

The Weekly Standard breathlessly touts an “exclusive story” over at Pajamas Media about the Justice Department doing outreach at the Islamic Society of North America’s annual convention. This is supposed to be outrageous because ISNA was named as an “unindicted conspirator” in the U.S. prosecution of the Holy Land Foundation, several founders of which were […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · War

The Five Techniques

May 13th, 2009 · 12 Comments

I’ve been reading John Conroy’s excellent study of torture in democracies, Unspeakable Acts, Ordinary People. It’s really required reading for understanding the current dispute over torture in historical context, but I want to pull out a few passages for brief comment. Here’s a description of a prolonged series of interrogations carried out in Ireland in […]

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Tags: War

How Torture Helped the Allies in WWII

May 5th, 2009 · 65 Comments

A small historical irony about the recent weird effort to enlist the bombing of Hiroshima in defense of torture (torture begins with T, Truman begins with T—don’t you see it?): Whatever role the bombings played in hastening Japan’s unconditional surrender, it was probably enhanced by the testimony of captured Air Force First Lieutenant Marcus McDilda. […]

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Tags: War