Hornswaggler | The culture, the humor, a bit of the sports, not so much the politics, and the workplace distraction

Hornswaggle is an alternate spelling of hornswoggle, an archaic word that means to bamboozle or hoodwink. I take my pronunciation from the late Harvey Korman in "Blazing Saddles" --

"I want rustlers, cutthroats, murderers, bounty hunters, desperados, mugs, pugs, thugs, nitwits, halfwits, dimwits, vipers, snipers, conmen, Indian agents, Mexican bandits, muggers, buggerers, bushwhackers, hornswagglers, horse thieves, bull dykes, train robbers, bank robbers, ass kickers, shit kickers and Methodists!"

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Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Okay, great! Let's start with you

The title of today's column by Richard Cohen -- in which he says Bush administration types shouldn't be prosecuted for torturing people because the nation, in Cohen's view, favored torture post-9/11 -- is "Torture? Prosecute us, too."

To which I say, let's do this! I never supported torture, and I must have missed the moment when "the nation" announced it was cool with it, but since Cohen has admitted he's in the pro-torture crowd, let's begin by prosecuting him.

Cohen's column has been flayed today in the liberal blogosphere, so I don't have much to add beyond a couple quick observations:

-- Cohen's evidence that the country was in favor of torture appears to consist of a) Bush's high approval ratings following Sept. 11 b) an essay written by a "thoughtful" journalist and b) the musings of a Penthouse scribe.

Considering the matter settled, he proceeds to write that "we have to be respectful of those who were in that Sept. 11 frame of mind, who thought they were saving lives -- and maybe were -- and who, in any case, were doing what the nation and its leaders wanted." (Emphasis added.)

And later: "We were the ones, remember, who just wanted to be kept safe."

Just the latest example of a Beltway pundit projecting his own moral cowardice onto the entire country (as Greenwald notes). Nothing out of the ordinary.

-- Also: "It is imperative that our intelligence agents not have to fear that a sincere effort will result in their being hauled before some congressional committee or a grand jury. We want the finest people in these jobs -- not time-stampers who take no chances."

So in Cohen's view, if you are not inclined to torture, you are a spineless "time-stamper." Good logic.

.: posted by hornswaggler 5:36 PM

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