Occasional blogging, mostly of the long-form variety.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

The Amazing Kagro X, Ladies and Gentlemen

By now, I hope you've seen this already (my computer was in the shop, so I only saw it yesterday). Regardless, the work of David Waldman (Kagro X) here deserves another round of applause:

The full segment can be viewed here.

What I especially appreciate is that David Waldman starts by hitting a few essential points, and he keeps coming back to them. He knows his facts, and his opponents can only attack him on propriety, popularity (the popularity of investigating torture) and him personally. It's the best (or at least the most satisfying) appearance by a torture opponent I've seen in a few months, a refreshing change from the parade of unrelenting obtuseness and deception on the subject in the mainstream media.

As DDay writes, "This is how it's done." Jane Hamsher has started a Facebook group called "I Oppose Torture, and Kagro X Is My Hero." She also summarizes nicely:
The successful hijacking of the torture debate by its proponents obscures the underlying facts, as Kagro makes abundantly clear:

1. Private contractors were conducting torture
2. It was torture for political gain
3. Pollsters should be asking if Americans support using torture to extract false confessions for political purposes, because that's what happened

There were no "ticking time bombs" -- as former State Department official Lawrence Wilkerson and McClatchey have confirmed, torture was conducted to extract false evidence linking Saddam Hussein and Al Qaeda. It was ordered by Dick Cheney and George Bush just as it was during the Spanish Inquisition, to force political compliance.

The Washington Examiner's Chris Stirewalt objects when Kagro invokes the obvious parallel, shamelessly hiding behind the military when he says "On behalf of American soldiers, on behalf of American soldiers, that's not cool." In classic Yellow Elephant fashion, Stirewalt apparently never served in the military.

Nicole Belle at Crooks and Liars also posted on this, and Glenn Greenwald dissects poll data and more in "Distorting public opinion on torture investigations." (He also links Erica Williams' apology over her appearance.)

More like this, please. The more guests can keep steering the "debate" back to the damning facts we already know and how much more we still need to know, the better.

(Cross-posted at Blue Herald)

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