Because okay, maybe the anti-McArdle appeal is wearing off, like with the LOLcons explosion last week, but it’s just so easy and time-saving to look to her for material — every post has something like this:
One of the most facile dismissals of torture is that it doesn’t work, so why bother? That’s tempting, but it’s too easy. Torture seems to me very likely to work provided that you can verify the information, which I assume interrogators can in at least some circumstances. Nor is it obvious to me that the quality of information is likely to be lower than that obtained by other means: yes, people will say anything to avoid torture, but they’ll also say anything to avoid imprisonment. Maybe the lies will be vivider or more voluble under torture, but it doesn’t seem necessarily so that the ratio of lies to truth will increase.
Why, maybe so! Who can say? If only there were a network of, for instance, computers all linked together, where we could search for information and have relevant documents come up on our screens.
Oh wait, that gives me an idea. Let me run a cable from my computer to the Washington Post offices.
Bush “was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth,” Suskind writes, and he asked one briefer, “Do some of these harsh methods really work?” Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep. Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety — against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, “thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each . . . target.” And so, Suskind writes, “the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.”
Then again, to be fair, the article doesn’t say a single thing about how it seems to McArdle, so her point stands unchallenged.
Bonus McArdle moment I: “The whole concept behind insurance is immoral.”
Bonus McArdle moment II: “Hey John Quiggin, hey Daniel Drezner: If you mix up different meanings of the terms ‘idealist and ‘realist,’ doesn’t it make it seem like the Netroots are enraged because, uh, they’re so clueless about international affairs? Haha. Zing!”