Patriots superfan Victor Thompson of Florida—photo by St. Petersburg PD
I think I speak for all of us when I say, what time is the Super Bowl? Super Bowl broadcast time and how to watch is one of the foremost questions of the day in that famous country we all know and love, America. In fact, the only thing I like thinking more than what channel is the Super Bowl on? is how I can be more patriotic? The United States needs patriots now more than ever. If we’re going to make America great again, we need to rekindle the revolutionary spirit that once burned in every heart from Boston to Atlanta.
Hawks falcons need to come together to protect us from all enemies, foreign and domestic. Today is Friday, and patriotism is on the march. Won’t you line up and salute with me?
This weekend, former Vice President and possible war criminal Dick Cheney appeared on Meet the Press to discuss his reaction to the CIA torture report. Spoiler alert: he doesn’t like it. Cheney insisted that waterboarding and other practices were not torture, and said of the events described in the report that he’d “do it again in a minute.” He meant he’d order someone he’d never met to do it again in a minute, but whatever. The important thing is that what Bush and Cheney told the CIA to do, which we’re just finding out about now in an alarming declassified report, was great for America and definitely not torture. I quote:
Torture is what the Al Qaeda terrorists did to 3,000 Americans on 9/11. There is no comparison between that and what we did with respect to enhanced interrogation.
And that, dear friends, is the subject of today’s Close Reading.
Before we begin, does anyone need take a long look at himself in the bathroom mirror?
Maybe you heard about this, but yesterday the Senate Intelligence Committee released the summary version of its six-year investigation into CIA torture during the Bush administration. The summary is 525 pages long. It describes detainees who were subjected to medically unnecessary rectal hydration procedures, detainees who were deprived of sleep for as long as a week, detainees made to stand on broken feet—you know what? Let’s just go ahead and call them prisoners. Once you’ve waterboarded Khalid Sheikh Mohammed for the 183rd time, he’s your prisoner. The president has condemned these behaviors as torture. But he refuses to comment on whether they produced meaningful intelligence that deterred terrorist attacks.
So long, dicks!
I just found out this morning, but tomorrow is apparently the Rapture. So sayeth Harold Camping, a former engineer who has painstakingly calculated the exact date of the faithful’s ascension to heaven and the subsequent period of natural disasters, war and plague that will precede God’s reign on Earth. Or maybe it’s his reign in heaven—it’s kind of unclear, but the point is that the world will end on May 21, 2011. That’s tomorrow. Presumably the internet will survive at least a few weeks into the horsemen’s pounding, throbbing ride across the virginal face of this land, so if you are reading this on Sunday, let me be the first to welcome you to an America with better science curricula and shorter lines to see that Atlas Shrugged movie. To paraphrase Robert Johnson, I’m not crazy about hell, but all my friends are going there. While we wait for the after-party, why not take a look at the last hours of the reception?
In all the rush of moving, celebrating our nation’s independence from Britain, and getting on a plane at six in the morning to go to Iowa—plus keeping up with our drinking—Combat! blog missed this gem about the New York Times and the word “torture” in Salon. Overdue props to Pete Jones for the link. The Times, like most newspapers, had used “torture” to refer to waterboarding until shortly after the September 11th attacks, when the Bush administration quietly explained to editors that A) it was waterboarding the shit out of everybody and therefore B) waterboarding was obviously not torture. After that, the Times started referring to waterboarding as “intense interrogation techniques” or “the harsh techniques used since the 2001 terrorist attacks.”