Friday, May 22, 2009

Question of the Moment: Does America need terrorist whistles?

Former Vice President Dick Cheney delivered a speech rebutting a speech made my President Obama defending his plan to close down the prison camp at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and the releasing of memos regarding the torture/harsh interrogation/ enhanced interrogation of certain detainees.

In one of his central points, Cheney argued that these Bush Administration policies being called into question kept the United States safe.

“Just remember it is a serious step to begin unraveling some of the very policies that have kept our people safe since 9/11,” Cheney said, shortly after which he took a short break to feast upon a fresh salmon captured from a nearby stream, a bit of which he fed to his pet penguin that stood beside him at the podium.

Following a short expulsion of air to clear his diaphragm, Cheney asserted that for most of the Bush administration officials successfully averted countless terrorist attacks, known and unknown. He seemed to infer that terrorists might return if the former administration’s policies were discontinued, including torture/harsh interrogation/enhanced interrogation.

Experts are calling this tact the “Tiger Whistle Argument.” The argument posits that in order to keep away man-eating tigers, one must indefinitely blow a whistle which keeps the tigers away. Skeptics of the tiger whistle ask: “What tigers?” To which proponents of the argument respond: “Exactly.”

Joseph C. Miller, CEO of US Protectives, a producer of protective whistles and prophylactics that has contracts with the Department of Defense, claims the whistle argument is sound.

“The logic is simple: Enhanced interrogation equals no terrorism attacks. No enhanced interrogation equals question mark,” Miller said. “It’s not a chance we can take. We have to keep blowing our terrorist whistles America. And if that doesn’t work, we’re going to have to consider banging sticks together, too -- metaphorically speaking.”

Faced with criticism from opponents and supporters on his decisions to release the so called “Torture Memos,” President Barack Obama was unequivocal in his speech.

“My single most important responsibility as president is to keep the American people safe. It’s the first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I think about when I go to sleep at night,” said Obama.

He added, “I reserve lunch time for polite, reasoned debate where each side gets to voice their side of the argument. This is much like the format we utilized at the Harvard Law Review, and I believe we can take advantage this approach in our life-quest to achieve a safer and middler America. ”

Cheney called the reactions to torture/harsh interrogation/enhanced interrogation “over wrought.”

“Did Mr. and Mrs. Cheney compromise when they decided to cast out son number one who was born with a shiny flipper? No! It is human nature to fear the unusual!” Cheney waxed poetically. “[Likewise], there is never a good time to compromise when the lives and safety of the American people are in the balance.”

The debate continued into the night.

“Terrorists hate us because we fail to live up to our values,” said Obama.

“No,” countered Cheney. “Terrorists hate us because of our values.

“I might add that people who consistently distort the truth in this way are in no position to lecture anyone about ‘values,’” he said.

“WMD’s!” screamed somebody from the audience.

“Oh fuck off!” cried Cheney.

“Now, now,” said Obama.

by guest Gentleman Matthew Lindeboom. you can reach Lindeboom by dropping to your knees, looking to the sky, and begging for the great white light to take you. If being struck by lightning isn't really your cup of tea... feel free to just leave comments to this post and he'll happily respond. Smiles.


B.Graham said...

I listen to NPR a lot so I know a lot about this. And though I generally lean toward the Cheney-is-actually-The-Penguin-and-must-be-stopped side, I still haven't quite made up my mind.

Joseph Johns the Populist said...
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Matt Lindeboom said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Matt Lindeboom said...

NPR is a wealth of information for these latest dramas in our continued search to name what it is exactly that we're doing, or should be doing. David Brooks of the NYTimes wrote an interesting piece last week (here: He said Cheney and Obama both conspired to "propagate a myth" that the Bush/Cheney terror policy lasted throughout the former administrations 8 years at the helm, but really it only lasted until 2005, when the torture and other interrogation methods were shut down. Brooks argues:

The Bush-Cheney period lasted maybe three years. For Dick Cheney those might be the golden years. For Democrats, it is surely the period they want to forever hang around the necks of the Republican Party. But that period ended long ago.For Cheney it's a battle for how history will tell his legacy. For Obama it's important Cheney's version of history doesn't take hold, since the platform from which he wants to launch his future policies is built upon the "Mess that Bush Made."

I haven't exactly made up my mind because I don't think there is a good choice. It's a hell of a mess no matter how you look at it. But I am disinclined to get behind Cheney on anything regarding this.

The former president said it best: "Fool me once.." etc., etc.

Stephen said...

NPR is crazy liberal. I listen to it every day, a fate I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy.

Jason Heat said...

...then why do you?

Dennis said...

Two fear mongering politicians attempting to outdo the other in order to push their policies. That being said, I support Cheney's position. (Big suprise eh?)

Max Nova said...

@Dennis - Uh yeah. All that hate the Obama has been spewing . . . in opposite-world. Point me to his "fear-mongering."

@Steve - Although I admit that Wait Wait Don't Tell Me, Diane Rhems and Kojo are certainly liberal-centric programming (also note that DC in 90+% Democratic) the NPR news is done by journalists. Real, true, actual journalists. These people strive for impartiality. There ain't a quota system in journalism, more journalists tend to be liberal.

Dennis said...

Pushing the largest government spending "stimulus" bill in world history through our government in 10 days after saying that we must act quickly or the economy will collapse isn't playing on peoples fears to push an agenda?

(Government spending has never successfully stimulated an economy so much that it paid for itself. He literally stated that "every" economist in the country was in agreement with it. lolz)

Preaching impending doom for our next generation if we don't immediately enact radical (expensive and life altering) changes to our personal and professional carbon emissions/energy use based on a scientific theory that isn't even proven or even agreed upon by the scientific community isn't fear mongering?

(I'm speaking about the man-caused global warming theory, not global warming in general. I'm also not saying that we are not a factor in global warming, I'm simply saying we don't know if/how much of a factor human carbon emission is. Also, I obviously agree that cutting carbon emissions/saving energy can't be bad, however I don't think it should be forced by the government, at consumers expense, in the middle of a recession.)

Obama is a politician. He uses people's emotions/money/influence/billy clubs to push his agenda, just like any other politician.

Max Nova said...

Dennis, I've been a bit delayed in responding but lets see:

a) One can quibble about the nature of Obama's plan, but we were and are in the midst of a rather huge depression. He wasn't fear-mongering, he was working to avoid a prolonged situation. Not to mention, our infrastructure is totally fucked and recession or not we need to repair it like nobody's business. Look at Japan, they've been in a slump for most of our lifetime, and we all want to avoid that situation.

b) A lot of folks don't trust the government to regulate things, but we've been in a voluntary business era, and look where it has gotten us. I will trust the scientists before the businessmen, and since American businesses have some rather large issues with thinking longer term, the government will be doing that for them for a while.

Also, to get back to the original post, holy cow, there are already terrorists in our prisons!!1111!!!
(Okay, Dennis, I admit that some politicians can be dumbasses.)