Friday, December 14, 2012

Quote of the Day II

I adore the juxtaposition of today's two quotes of the day - the first one was about Hugh Jackman grinding his ample pelvis against Amanda Seyfried, and the second one is about torture and terrorism and war crimes, oh my. it is in this frisson where I find life! Anyway I dunno if you've been following Andrew Sullivan's back and forth over Kathryn Bigelow's Zero Dark Thirty - he hadn't seen it yet but he was all over the assertions by some that the movie falsely links the United States' very real embrace of torture under Bush/Cheney with the acquisition of actual information that brought about the plan that killed Osama Bin Laden. 

That is of course not true - torture never won us any information; in fact it probably achieved exactly the opposite. But certain talking heads are claiming the film, by showing scenes of torture (brutally so) as a lead up to the eventual raid, blurs that line, and could be read as a cause-effect thing. Anyway I saw the movie earlier this week and I vehemently disagree it does this, and now Sullivan's seen the movie too and he agrees with me. You might not want to read his post until after seeing the movie since it discusses lots o' plot, but here's the gist:

"The film shows without any hesitation that the United States brutally tortured countless suspects - innocent and guilty - in ways that shock the conscience. To my mind, that is, in fact, a huge plus for those of us who have been trying to break through the collective denial and the disgusting euphemism of "enhanced interrogation." No one can look at those scenes and believe for a second that torture is not being committed. You could put the American in a Nazi uniform and the movie would be indistinguishable from any mainstream World War II movie. Yes, that's what we became in our treatment of prisoners.

In that way, it exposes the Biggest Lie of the Bush-Cheney administration: that Abu Ghraib was an exception, and not the rule. What was done to suspects in Abu Ghraib was actually less grotesque, less horrifying, and less shocking than what Bush and Cheney ordered the CIA to do to human beings directly."

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