The Electric Commentary

Monday, November 05, 2007

Stupid Republican Quote

Last week I was listening to Mark Belling. He said:

The Constitution never mentions waterboarding. Where in the Constitution does it mention waterboarding? Where does it say that it's illegal? It's not like a search and seizure.

You, of course, already know why this is stupid. But it's nice to point out the plethora of ways in which this is stupid.

First of all, the Constitution does not forbid many specific acts. It does not say "Thou shalt not covet they neighbors ass." It tends to be a bit more general, and deals more with the powers of government. Everyone that has ever read the Constitution knows this.

This argument is sort of an offshoot of the asinine conservative argument that the words "separation of church and state" are not mentioned in the Constitution. While technically true, the concept does in fact exist in the Constitution.

Anyway, Belling made this way dumber than it had to be by actually referencing the Bill of Rights. Of course there is no "search and seizure" issue. There is also no issue of quartering soldiers.

Waterboarding is, of course, cruel, and unusual. This runs afoul of 8th Amendment:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

I italicized the relevant portion, just so no one misses it.

If you believe that waterboarding is not torture, read this.


  • You can also see waterboarding here. This guy was on Talk of the Nation on NPR yesterday.

    By Blogger Nye!, at 5:47 PM  

  • Last week I was listening to Mark Belling.
    There's your problem.

    By Blogger Jay Bullock, at 7:35 PM  

  • Jay, something about knowing your enemy. I'm a bit of a masochist.

    Nye!, it's definitely torture. Drowning is terrifying to most people, and very painful. I don't know how you anyone can debate the point with a straight face.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 8:31 PM  

  • Did I do something to imply I thought it wasn't torture. I don't see how that's debatable either. That video was like 25 minutes long and I had to turn it off after about 90 seconds because I was panicking.

    By Blogger Nye!, at 8:32 PM  

  • No no, sorry, I was agreeing with you. Maybe I should start using those emoticon dealies.

    By Blogger PaulNoonan, at 9:37 PM  

  • so water boarding is torture big deal.

    I wish people would get over the idea of the USA always being the "good" guys Wars are ugly you fight to win

    Would people be more happy if they used a car battery and jumper cables to induce people to talk.

    I unlike a lot of people on the right or where ever I am now days am not afraid to admit sometimes bad things must be done for the greater good.

    My question if you refuse to use torture methods to extract intelligence what methods would you use to get information that people in the field need? pleading, asking really nice over and over again.

    Why do we as a nation insist on always trying to fight wars with one hand tied behind our back.

    We as a nation have fire bombed cities in the name of democracy and victory do you think I am going to lose any sleep because some Jihadist is being water boared.

    If you get a chance sit down some night and have some beers with some WW2 vets who actually saw combat you will be amazed by the "war crimes" some of the greatest generation committed and usually more than once.

    Wars are ugly You fight to win and any method that can give you that victory should be used.

    By Blogger Chris, at 8:59 AM  

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