Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Terrorist Supermen Are Our Betters

There is no compelling difference between a low-budget '70s dystopian fantasy film and the Republican debate from last night. Crooks and Liars has video of the "candidates" discussing torture with Brit Hume on Fox News, and it's seriously breathtaking. Fuck those Eurasians!

Okay, so the first thing we have to talk about is Hume's patently ludicrous question. He sets up this whole ticking time bomb scenario. Suicide bombers have already attacked several public centers; hundreds are dead and thousands more are injured. One attack has been averted, and you've got the man responsible holed up in Gitmo. Do you torture him to try to stop a possible next attack?

Is this supposed to be a likely scenario? I assume Brit thinks this may actually happen, because he's taking up valuable debate time laying it out. So it's not just some idea he thought up, a "24" spec he's been working on by night, but something he can genuinely imagine going down on the streets of America during the tenure of our next President.

That's laughable. We don't really have suicide bombings in America. Ever. 9/11 happened approximately once, and those guys weren't bombers; they were suicide hijackers. Big dif. I doubt they'd try that one again, but it at least keeps us somewhat in the realm of the possible. I put it to you that Brit labeled these guys Suicide Bombers to identify them with a certain kind of terrorist (the brown kind) and not another (the hillbilly kind).

As it turns out, torture is pretty much the only issue about which John McCain can speak reasonably and credibly. I hate to put it in such an insensitive manner, but he has a rare insight into this entire controversy, and everything he said pretty much made sense to me. He mocks Brit's ridiculous question by pointing out how improbable it all is, then moves immediately into a plea for sanity. We're Americans, we don't torture people. Exactly.

The other two men in the video, Rudy Giuliani and Mitt Romney, proceed to make complete and total asses of themselves. It's humiliating. Giuliani does not waste a split-nano-second of time before moving into 9/11.

He's so one-note, it's actually kind of comical. 9/11 is seriously all he's got. (I guess running for President on a "more police brutality/less urine smell" platform didn't get past the focus groups.) It's like Tom Cruise and Scientology; no conversation can go on with Rudolph Giuliani for more than 30 seconds without seguing into 9/11.

"Hey, Rudy, you want to grab a bagel?"

"Sure. You know, there were a few moments there, when I was coordinating rescue efforts to save the lives of small adorable children, when I thought I might never again get to taste a delicious, lightly-toasted-but-still-chewy bagel drenched in cream cheese and, possibly, raspberry jam. That's a day that changed my life forever, and the lives of all New Yorkers, and every person, everywhere."

"Yeah, great. Say, I like that watch. Is that new?"

"I had to get a new watch. My old one stopped working because its tiny gears were encrusted with debris from the Second Tower. I had it on my wrist as I was pulling rare panda and koala bears out of the rubble left by those heartless terrorist maniacs whom I personally will waterboard if it means that even one 90 year old American man, a guy named Hank in Arizona, can live for two extra seconds."

"I'm not sure that's possible."

"Well, I don't have data on that. I'll get back to you."

And so forth.

Then Mitt Romney tries to top Rudy by actually speaking indecipherable nonsense. He says, to start, that he's glad the hypothetical terrorist is in Guantanamo Bay as opposed to here in America, which strikes me as a very odd thing to say. Don't we sort of accept that there are dangerous men here in America, in prisons, without getting all bent out of shape over it? I mean, is Romney really suggesting we're all safer because the fictional terrorist is in Cuba as opposed to Leavenworth? Charlie Manson's here in America, we've managed to keep an eye on him alright. Ditto the Unabomber, Eric Rudolph, the BTK Killer, Sirhan Sirhan and Paris Hilton.

As if this weren't a strange enough starting-off point at a political debate ("I propose we immediately send all made-up bad people away!"), Romney then launches into a diatribe about how we should "Double Guantanamo".

Watch the video! He says, "A lot of people" - Wussocrats - "want to close Guantanamo. I say, double Guantanamo!"

What does that even mean? Is Guantanamo overcrowded? It's a huge naval base and they're only holding a few hundred guys in there. There were three camps, but then they closed Camp X-Ray, so now there are two. Is Romney saying we should re-open X-Ray and then open another one, for good measure? Just to show 'em.

This is politics as Monty Python sketch.

"I say, we send all terrorists to Guantanamo for torture!"

"I say, we send them to...DOUBLE GUANTANAMO!"

[Everyone begins muttering to one another - "Double Guantanamo," "double guantanamo," "double GUANTANAMO?"]

If only a guy in chain mail would come up and clobber these guys over the head with a rubber chicken...

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