The tortured logic of Andrew Sullivan

I try never to personalize criticism of other bloggers. Sullivan is one of those guys who was initially pretty strong in wanting to defend against the wickedness of our enemies, but he went over to the dark side after the hazings of Abu Ghraid wee turned into a torture narrative. Since then he has been hyper critical of interrogation of prisoners and the situation at Gitmo.

Ace of Spades looks at Sullivan's passive reaction to al Qaeda's torture manual.

Wretchard Predicts Preening Hysterics About "Torture" Won't Mention AQ Torture Manual; In Unrelated News, Andrew Sullivan Fails To Mention AQ Torture Manual

He does mention torture, actually -- the "torture" committed by George Tenet. So "torture" is still apparently on his mind.

But the repellent torture-porn scrabblings of human eyes being pulled out of living faces? Sullivan, predictably, has nothing at all to say about that.

Which is what Wretchard predicted. Sullivan can't even acknowledge the real thing, because it would expose his crusade against the counterfeit as childishly mendacious:

The problem with the fake is that it is always shown up by the arrival of the Real Thing. The difference between the two is often so manifest that it seems ridiculous to think that anyone could have been fooled -- even momentarily -- by the counterfeit.

The problem with the word "torture" is that it has been so artfully corrupted by some commentators that we now find ourselves at a loss to describe the kinds of activities that the al-Qaeda interrogation manual graphically recommends. Now that the term "torture" has been put in one-to-one correspondence with such admittedly unpleasant activities as punching, sleep deprivation, a handkerchief pulled over one's face and loaded with water, searches by women upon sensitive Islamic men or the disrespectful handling of Korans -- what on earth do we call gouging people's eyes out?



Isn't it funny that he's done precisely what Wrechard predicted, and undoubtedly for the reasons he's outlined? Not even the pretense of caring about real torture, because he doesn't care about real torture. His only object is the fakey-torture of red-ink menstrual-blood and belly slaps, and to even acknowledge the chthonic cruelty depicted in Al Qaeda's torture manual would expose his hysterical preening for the trivium it is.

There is more. Sullivan deserves this criticism as does the wretched terrorist rights organization Amnesty International. The release of a real torture manual shows where their interest really lies and it is not in complaining about real torture. It is not in the treatment of prisoners. As another captured soldier is found dead with signs of torture on his body there is no out pouring of concern for the inhumane treatment of any of our troops. We see that the logic of the torture narrative was just a convenient club for a political attack against the administration.

For more on the torture logic of war critics see Dinocrat's post on eye removal. Hat tip Larwyn.


  1. Good one. Sullivan has gone over to the dark side apparently. Well, if torture is part of their barbaric, sick, primitive, evil, sub-human, perverted, vile and demented culture who are we to say it is bad?
    absurd thought -
    God of the Universe says
    ignore human rights abuse

    give terrorists free pass
    villify the best countries


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