Showing posts with label Waterboarding. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Waterboarding. Show all posts

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Best Picture: Zero Dark Thirty

It's Oscar season so I thought I'd sprinkle in some posts over the next few weeks until the ceremony with my thoughts on the Best Picture nominees. First up, is the most recent film I saw Zero Dark Thirty.

The film tells the story of how Osama bin Laden was ultimately found and killed. Kathryn Bigelow (The Hurt Locker, Point Break) brings a gritty realism to the lens and the film often feels like a police procedural. As with The Hurt Locker, long periods of quiet analysis are abruptly interrupted with shocking and very graphic violence. In many ways, it's two films. The first two hours are the intelligence work that went into finding him (laced with various terrorist attacks over the years) and the 40 minutes are the raid on the compound. The last section was my favorite part. The actors playing the SEAL guys were fantastic and the raid itself was positively gripping.

Here's Official Trailer #2

Of the in the films nominated, it's definitely in the top three and I highly recommend seeing it. Like Lincoln, it is an historical piece and one for the first decade of the 21st century that ends with death of one of the planet's deadliest human beings.

The controversy around the film was predictable. First, it was too political and the Right didn't want it released before the election so as to help the president. So, the studio caved and released it in December. Then the Right loved it when they saw all the torture scenes and blew loads in their shorts. That's when the left got pissed and said that it advocated torture. My take on it was it stayed pretty neutral. There were people in the film that supported torture and thought it worked and people that didn't. Ultimately, it was a relaxing meal and being nice that got the initial guy to talk. This jibes with what my grandfather did during World War II when he interrogated Japanese in the Pacific. They got their best information when they gave them food and shelter. There have also been some moaning about intelligence leaks from the Right but the information in the film is all public knowledge.

If you are heading out to see this year's noms, put this one at the top of your list!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Saturday Potpourri

Starting today, I'm going to use Saturdays to clear out my "Ideas For Posts" links folder. I have so many and, sadly, most get thrown out or forgotten. Rather than write an entire post around each one (very time consuming), I'm going to highlight a point or two from each link and then hope that readers here at Markadelphia will take it upon themselves to read the rest of the post off site.

First up is a look at how the Bush Tax Cuts have affected our economy using quite a bit of data. The conclusion?

This is economic madness. It is policy divorced from empirical evidence. It is insanity because the policies are illusory and delusional. The evidence is in, and it shows beyond a shadow of a reasonable doubt that the 2001 and 2003 tax cuts failed to achieve the promised goals.

How much more evidence do we need that we made terrible and costly mistakes in 2001 and 2003?

Well, the answer sadly is that there is no amount of evidence to convince them because they don't live in reality.

Speaking of that bizarro reality, here's a piece from a while back on patriotism.

How did Americans arrive at the obscene point where people routinely say, “If you don’t agree with me you aren’t a real Christian” or a “real American,” or a “genuine patriot”? By what measure of chutzpah did the Republican right challenge the patriotism of those who disagreed with their Iraq policy during the Bush years? That’s not American democracy. Rather it smacks of Europe’s bellicose totalitarian regimes of the past century.

The Tea Party and its supporters need a history lesson because this is how it starts.

How did waterboarding return to national attention? Apparently, GOP contender Michele Bachmann is a staunch supporter of it but, of course, would not want to undergo the process herself calling it "uncomfortable" but not torture.


Friday, May 06, 2011

Putting Some Things To Bed

Let's put a few things to bed on this beautiful Friday, shall we?

First, let's examine the information we have thus far as to whether waterboarding led to Osama bin Laden.

Hassan Ghul, a Pakistani born detainee, was subjected to some EITs (sleep deprivation, slapping, nudity) and gave up the name of the courier. He was not waterboarded.

Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and Abu Faraj al-Libbi gave false information about the courier after they were waterboarded repeatedly. Months later, during routine questioning, KSM still gave false information about the courier. It was these lies that raised the suspicions of the investigators and set them on a course towards doing the bulk of the effort which was (ahem) police work. Thank you, John Kerry.

I know you guys simply must win the argument on every discussion and continually be "right" but, as of this moment, I see nothing to convince me that "waterboarding worked and that's why we caught bin Laden." Grow the fuck up.

Speaking of growing up, bin Lade is dead. It has now been confirmed by the people who lived at the compound AND Al Qaeda. We don't need to see his body nor use it as a warning. The Navy Seals were warning enough. The last thing I would want to do is tell the father, mother, wife, husband, son, daughter of a member of our armed forces that their loved one was killed because of an attack resulting from release of the death photo.

More importantly, the non release of the death photo does not mean he is secretly alive. If he was, don't you think he'd be making us look foolish by parading around the airwaves? In addition, he hasn't been secretly dead since 2001 either. President Bush would not have kept that a secret as it would've certainly helped him during his administration.

So, enough with the silliness, folks. Let's focus on using the intel that we now have to hunt down the rest of these guys. It looks to me like they wanted to attempt something on the tenth anniversary this year with trains. I wonder what else bin Laden's hard drive will reveal?:)