The Spectacle Blog
As most every American knows instinctively, today is Pearl Harbor day. All over the country local newspapers and even some major papers are carrying stories and reflections, on this, the 64th anniversary of Japan's attack on America. My own local papers, alas, the Washington Post and the New York Times, ran nothing on the event. Though you can link to an AP story posted yesterday on their websites that was posted yesterday.
Of course, the Washington Times comes through in a major way. And of the networks, NBC headlined the anniversary in its morning lineup, right before the interview with Howard Stern.
So let's get this straight -- McCain said that no good information comes from torture because they (the torturees) will "say what they thnk you want to hear to stop the pain." Imus asked about the exception for an impending nuke. McCain, seeking to be reasonable, agreed that in that "one in a million" situation, "go ahead and do it. It's justifiable." Why would torture work in that situation and not others?
First of all, I'd like someone to cite any examples of torture committed by U.S. military personnel that have gone unpunished. Second, absent any proof to the contrary, I'd like Senator McCain and others like him to stop saying, as he did on Imus this morning, that "this torture has to stop." By saying "it" has to stop, he is saying that "it" is going on and accusing our troops of breaking the law. Third, will Senator McCain take his "exception" to the rule to its logical conclusion?
It's okay to torture when it may help save the lives of a million innocent people. How about half a million? Or 250,000? Or 10,000? Or 100? Or 10? (Am I sounding like Father Abraham?)
How about saving a platoon of U.S. Army Infantrymen from an ambush?
The D.C. Council passed a smoking ban ordinance yesterday, to the apparent consternation of Mayor Anthony Williams, who's worried about the detrimental effects to business. Worse than that, it's a blow to civil society: a bloc of citizens can declare a minor vice (if that) unpleasant and banish the offenders to the sidewalk. Liberals aren't so tolerant after all.
Last week I defended the late Pat Morita against the PC condescending tribute paid him by Lawrence Downes in the New York Times. Now it turns out Downes fell into the very trap he set for himself. Yesterday the Times ran this dainty correction apropos his piece:
An Editorial Observer column last Tuesday about the death of the actor Pat Morita referred imprecisely to Rob Schneider's background. His mother is Filipino.
I'd say Downes had been precise to a fault in making his erroneous point:
John Burns may be the New York Times's finest, and certainly toughest, reporter. He's been in Iraq since well before the war. Today he profiles the forever fellow-traveling Ramsey Clark, currently a member of Saddam Hussein's defense team. In his subtle, measured way, Burns undresses Clark -- "a tall, gaunt figure, still with a Texas drawl after decades of living in New York..." Before Burns is done with him, Clark is displaying a propensity for moral equivalence apologetics that during the 1930s would have had him rushing to defend Stalin. Burns reports:
The House of Representatives returns from its Thanksgiving recess today with an agenda full of crucial items. Moderate Republicans have grown bolder in recent weeks, with their eyes on defeating the modest, $50 billion cuts in the budget increases as well as drilling in the Alaskan National Wildlife Refuge. ANWR will be resolved in conference.
Dave: All that speculation is coming from those, such as Chris Matthews, who can't imagine any Dem saying what Lieberman did without first having been bribed with a job offer. Couple that with their hatred of Rumsfeld, and voila, you have the imaginary SecDef Lieberman. Methinks it's very, very unlikely.
Instapundit notices an increasingly popular Democratic talking point: Lieberman as Secretary of Defense. Of course, there's a slight problem with that rumor. The job's taken, for now. Reynolds links to Kos on this, who acknowledges that such a move would mean Lieberman was switching sides and Gov. Jodi Rell could turn his Senate seat into a Republican incumbency. Still, Kos would be only too happy to "finally get rid of Lieberman."