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October 22, 2005

Fake Menstrual Blood Simple: Tarranto Rips Exciteable Andy Over Menses-Monomania

Make no mistake about it: Andrew Sullivan find menstrual blood, even of the fake, red-ink variety, gob-smackingly vile.

I won't join Tarranto in his suggestion that maybe Sullivan has a less-than-thorough appreciation for the female body and its reproductive cycle.

I'll just note this: Sullivan is on a big rant about "torture." And yet he, like others who claim to be against torture, tell us that we can obtain all the information we need from terrorists via psychological pressure and professional interrogations.

Well, smearing red ink on someone -- even under the guise of it being menstrual blood -- is obviously not physical torture. It is psychological torment for some; but this is precisely the sort of trickery/pressure which is yet not actually torture the anti-torture contingent claims should be used in lieu of actual arm-breaking.

Which is it, Andy?

As Private Frost wondered, "What are we supposed to use? Harsh language?"

All forms of psychological pressure are inherently coercive. That's the point. You're pushing cultural buttons, or buttons common to every human, like fear of being harmed or killed.

People like Sullivan assure us that, while they're against torture, they're certainly for psychological gambits and mind-games and the like. And yet, each particular instance of such a psychological game fails to meet their approval.

And they steadfastly refuse to announce precisely what they would allow-- the particular methods they'd be comfortable with. They won't give their blessing to anything that smacks of dirty pool or psychological coercion, but continue claiming they're reasonable on the point because they'd allow some unspecified hypothetical methods to be used.

Which ones? Red ink is apparently out. I have to figure that the old trick of pretending to torture or kill one "terrorist" -- actually a plant working with the interrogators -- in order to induce the others to talk would likewise be out, as it involves scaring the living shit out of the actual terrorists.

Please, Excitable Andy-- list the methods of which you would approve for tough interrogations in their specifics.

Because, at this point, it seems you're against "torture" as defined as "anything that causes someone emotional distress."

Thanks to See-Dubya and Mark in Mexico.

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posted by Ace at 01:19 PM

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