Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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May 13, 2009

THE ORIGINAL KING OF IRONY.... Anyone looking for reasoned, sensible analysis from Karl Rove is bound to be disappointed. But since President Obama took office, the man the former president affectionately called Turd Blossom has spent most of his time acting like a child who believes it's "opposite day."

As Ali Frick reported, Rove appeared on (where else?) Fox News yesterday, arguing that the abolition of U.S. torture policies will make it easier for terrorists to recruit new members. As Rove sees it, now that Obama has "forsworn" Bush-era interrogation tactics, it's given terrorists "a tool to make it more attractive to recruit people."

The irony is, it was Rove's boss that made terrorist recruiting easier by using the very torture techniques Obama has rejected. Rove's argument doesn't even make any sense -- terrorists will find more willing volunteers to strike at the United States because we're not torturing detainees? Humane treatment of prisoners has become some kind of rallying cry for radicals?

As Frick explained, "Experts from FBI special agent Jack Cloonan to torture victim Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) to former Army JAG Major General Thomas Romig all agree that Bush and Rove's "enhanced interrogation" program recruited terrorists who have killed thousands of Americans. Indeed, former military interrogator Matthew Alexander cited Bush's interrogation program as the most effective means to recruiting insurgents in Iraq who were battling Americans every day."

I'd just add that this fits into a larger pattern with Rove. He identifies some of the worst developments of the Bush/Cheney White House -- in this case, the fact that the Bush administration made terrorist recruiting easier -- and projects the same faults onto President Obama. Consider some of Rove's recent arguments: Obama is guilty of using hardball political tactics; the president looks at every policy issue "from a political perspective"; the White House is making "power grabs"; Obama, unlike Bush, is "polarizing," because of his "petty" partisanship.

About a year ago, Rove accused the New York Times of having "outed a CIA agent," which "obviously puts the CIA agent in danger." Rove added that disclosing the name of a CIA operative represents "a very callous view about our nation's security and interests." It was, at the time, one of the most ironic things I'd ever heard.

Apparently, it was just a sign of things to come.

Steve Benen 8:00 AM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (24)

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Rove added that disclosing the name of a CIA operative represents "a very callous view about our nation's security and interests." It was, at the time, one of the most ironic things I'd ever heard.

Rove knows what he's doing when he says stuff like this. He'd never say such a thing in a forum where he knew he'd be challenged. He only does so when he knows he can say stuff like that with impunity. He does it because he knows it pisses off the listeners who can't do anything about it. It's a means of shoving the impotence of the outraged listeners/viewers in their face.

Posted by: Tyro on May 13, 2009 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

If we torture it helps terrorist recruiting. If we don't torture it helps terrorist recruiting. The obvious xenophobic default mode is to therefore torture. If neither option dissuades recruiting you might as well have some fun and inflict some pain as you watch al Qaida numbers swell.

Posted by: steve duncan on May 13, 2009 at 8:08 AM | PERMALINK

Don't know how to put it online, but, a must see political cartoon is this morning's David Horsey at the Seattle P-I. It depicts Cheney in S&MB&D garb holding a whip. Last sentence says, "And some of them may have liked it" Dick appears to be ever soooo cute in his laced hobnails.

Posted by: berttheclock on May 13, 2009 at 8:12 AM | PERMALINK

Is Al doing parody under other names now?

Posted by: Danp on May 13, 2009 at 8:17 AM | PERMALINK

No, it's Blue Girl's old blog partner, angry that she dumped him from her blog.

Posted by: on May 13, 2009 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Is it because his candidates lambasted their Democratic rivals?

Actually, it's because he's a war criminal, and we like reminding right-wingers in their moral cowardice in supporting such people. And we wonder why conservatives are too cowardly to run them out of the party and out of town on a rail.

Posted by: Tyro on May 13, 2009 at 8:19 AM | PERMALINK

Let me see now , run that by me again. A guy who is ready to strap a bomb to himself or take a bullet for radical Islam is going to think twice because we torture...RRIIIIIGHT got that. Quick I need a rewrite.

Posted by: Jack Bauer on May 13, 2009 at 8:21 AM | PERMALINK

Karl Rove = James Carville

Of course! I hadn't seen the undeniable similarities until now! Hmmm, what was the name of that undercover CIA weapons of mass destruction intelligence officer that Carville exposed in a criminal, Machiavellian whisper campaign? It's right on the tip of my tongue...McGruber, give me a hand here....

Posted by: steve duncan on May 13, 2009 at 8:22 AM | PERMALINK

Nice try, McG; I see your impotence is making you a little whiny this morning. Jealous of a Turd Blossom...? Look, Cheney & Rove are more public than ever making their cases for torture on friendly media, as political/legal cover. These guys are pretty smart, IMO, so they are trying to get ahead of the publicity to cover their torturing asses.

Posted by: Ken on May 13, 2009 at 8:24 AM | PERMALINK

As soon as we had a collective epiphany - We have nothing to fear, but Rove himself! - we have left Mr. Repugnant at the curb. He just hasn't noticed no cab is stopping to give him a ride back - they're just going to FOX studios! -Kevo

Posted by: kevo on May 13, 2009 at 8:49 AM | PERMALINK

i dunno why rove reminds me of that giant marshmallow guy in ghostbusters.

in fact, karl as the marshmallow guy in ghostbusters is sort of the whole bush admin, only without the funny.

(maybe obama = bill murray... as in "Back off Buster, I'm a scientist...)

Posted by: neill on May 13, 2009 at 8:58 AM | PERMALINK

David Horsey's cartoon of Cheney as a Dominatrix can be viewed at:

http://www.seattle pi.com/horsey/viewbydate.asp?ID=1944

Posted by: berttheclock on May 13, 2009 at 9:09 AM | PERMALINK

Rove's a master puppeteer and nothing more.

Nice of him to give boy pal Cheney a new talking point though. Now he has the "torture isn't torture" argument, the "but torture works" argument, and now the "not torturing makes suicide jihadists career more appealing" argument.

WOW! The GOP and FOX must be the best salespeople on the planet to be selling this moronic bullshit.

Posted by: about time on May 13, 2009 at 9:23 AM | PERMALINK

well of course stopping torture will make it easier for terrorists to recruit. just like becoming the execution capital of the u.s. so dramatically lowered the murder rate in texas.

Posted by: mellowjohn on May 13, 2009 at 9:26 AM | PERMALINK

mellowjohn Good analogy

Posted by: John R on May 13, 2009 at 9:46 AM | PERMALINK

This has always been Rove's tactic. They accused Kerry of faking his Medal of Honor to distract from Bush's own war record; they accused human rights advocates of being soft on protecting life; they accused global warming scientists of being against fixing the problem because these scientists didn't endorse Bush's commissions to "study" the problem another ten years before doing anything; etc.

Posted by: Bobo on May 13, 2009 at 10:10 AM | PERMALINK

He has to go to jail for the US to regain its dignity.

Posted by: Bob M on May 13, 2009 at 10:12 AM | PERMALINK

Wait a minute Karl, I thought it wasn't torture?

Posted by: ckelly on May 13, 2009 at 10:13 AM | PERMALINK

Laugh if you want but I can't tell you how many debates I've had with right wingers about this or that conservative outrage who end the discussion by saying: Well, both sides are equally guilty. Rove knows what he is doing when he points the finger that should be aimed at himself. If everyone does it, no one does. That's Rove Get Out of Jail Free card.

Posted by: Ted Frier on May 13, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Rove's theory is just part of the overall neo-con belief that only Americans are brave and courageous, while our enemies are all weak and easily scared. And so to scare off attacks, we need to attack them as hard as we can and not stop until they all submit. And if we don't attack them, it encourages them to attack us. Or in this case, we need to torture them in order for them to be too scared to want to suicide bomb us.

Because while they KNOW that an attack on us will only enrage Americans and make us more likely to want revenge, somehow, they never apply this logic to our enemies. In their view, only Americans want revenge for wrongful attacks. Our enemies, on the other hand, only understand force and will back down when they see how resolute we are. Somehow, they failed to notice that Muslims are infamous for demanding vengeance and have loooong memories. F*cking idiots.

Posted by: Doctor Biobrain on May 13, 2009 at 10:26 AM | PERMALINK

I really wish you would stop referring to this as irony. To me, irony suggests that the speaker/author means for the audience to understand the distance between the ostensible words and the 'truth'.

When a person says something that is the contradiction of what is observable in the real world with the object of the audience believing the untrue thing, the preferred term should be 'lying'. When the person accuses other of behavior of which he is clearly guilty of himself, the term should be 'hypocrisy'.

For the combination that Rove uses, I would also accept "douchebaggery". But whatever it is, to call it 'irony' gives it a veneer of class or appropriateness that is not warranted.

Posted by: short fuse on May 13, 2009 at 11:05 AM | PERMALINK

Why isn't Rove in prison?

Posted by: Valerie Plame on May 13, 2009 at 11:27 AM | PERMALINK

Laugh if you want but I can't tell you how many debates I've had with right wingers about this or that conservative outrage who end the discussion by saying: Well, both sides are equally guilty.

Well, aren't they? I expect the American people are now realizing that they are, which should have some effect on the midterms.

Posted by: MatthewRQuarreler on May 13, 2009 at 11:47 AM | PERMALINK

"These techniques have yeilded vast(emphasis by Rove) amounts of information that allowed us to stop these attacks"-Rove

What attacks where stopped Karl? The Library Tower "plot" that was stopped before Sheikh Mohammed was even captured?

Now Dick Cheney is ratcheting up similar rhetoric with his assertion on Sunday that thisvast amount of valuable information "saved thousands, perhaps hundreds of thousands, of lives".

I'd love to get a copy of the questions actually asked by the interrogators. I'd imagine a few cursory "are there any more plots against the homeland" questions mixed in with a more than heavy dose of "what connections do Al Qaeda have with Iraq" questions.

Posted by: wtf on May 13, 2009 at 12:31 PM | PERMALINK




 

 

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