Thursday, July 03, 2008

Patriot primer

Read Christopher Hitchen's account of getting waterboarded. Watch the video of the "exercise". Spoiler alert: he didn't like it. Thinks it's torture.

Then there's the New York Times' account of how Gitmo interrogators inadvertently adopted Chinese-Korean War-era interrogation methods (once upon a time referred to as "torture" and "brainwashing") that are proven -- like waterboarding -- to produce false confessions. Oops.

Almost as informative: how large GOP donors can influence policy in Texas in a New York minute, or give to both John McCain and to Latin-American death squads. Now that's as All-American as Ollie North and Ronald Reagan.

The tug-of-war going on between my friends and associates in the progressive community revolves around a couple of whip counts worth pondering over the long holiday: how many of us think that things are so bad that the best course of action is to let them get much, much worse so that "things come to a head" and we don't delude ourselves into thinking that our country can get by with incremental changes ...

... and how many of us think things are so bad that the best thing to do is to work as hard as we can to get Barack Obama elected, and likewise elect Democrats in sweeping victories in both houses in Washington, in Austin, and in Harris County so that we can emphatically reject Republican rule and get started ASAP in a better direction.

Or some half-measure of the above (the centrists, in other words).

Personally, I'm still deciding.

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