USAToday on the Destroyed Tapes

I’ll start by saying I find USAToday an example of everything bad and wrong about today’s print media.  Well maybe not everything, WaPo is worse because they’re also dishonest.  But USAToday is deliberately designed (and has been since it’s inception) to be the McEyewitness News of Newspapers, a pile of print for you to step in on the way out of your room at the Marriott in the morning.  Reading it takes no longer than a cup of coffee and a danish.

But lots of people do because it’s free and a step up from a local ‘shopper’ newsprint magazine, so I occasionally check their opinion section to get the pulse of what’s supposed to be mainstream.

Today one of their opinions was No torture, no need to destroy videotapes.  Whoever wrote this has no doubt that the tapes would make us look bad-

Had the tapes ever gotten out, they might have made the Abu Ghraib prison photos look tame. Imagine the propaganda value Osama bin Laden could reap from video of Arabs struggling in pain as Americans subjected them to waterboarding or other torture. The fact that the prisoner might have been a murderous thug would be lost in the revulsion and condemnation of the United States for barbarism.

Then again the prisoner might not have been a murderous thug, just a low level wacko, but I digress.

Like all things USAToday it’s a very quick read and I encourage you to do so.  The author mostly gets it right.  “The original sin was the torture itself, not the tapes or their destruction.  Spy agencies don’t get to write their own laws.”

What I think the author misses though is how much seeing these tapes would inflame not only Arabs, but Americans.

Who among us, a society that buys its meat shrink wrapped in plastic at best, in microwavable breaded nuggets more often, really wants to see sausage made?

I’ll tell you who.  The 30%.  Dogfighting, executions, we’re Romans and we deserve the best circuses to display the power and wealth of our empire!

It puts me in mind of later empires too, where dictators and their sycophants giggle and eat popcorn while flickering images of state traitors dance at the end of piano wire nooses like obscene puppets.

Do you suppose W watched these tapes?  How many times?  Special bonus question- how many times for Saddam’s execution?


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  1. Have a good afternoon.  No, I really mean that.  Forget about this and think about the Holidays.

    • Tigana on December 10, 2007 at 20:19


    • Tigana on December 10, 2007 at 20:26

    I doubt W would watch that execution tape with special interest. Saddam was the CIA’s guy, and that was not him.

    Study and compare photos taken over time of his hands, ears, nose, eyebrows and teeth – things that cannot be surgically changed, and you will see.

  2. the only paper you can read without taking it out of the newpaper box while waiting for the bus. The people don’t want to see this anymore then the perps want them too. They just want to eat the sausages with no guilt. Were all feed a daily dose of violence and brutality which is called entertainment.  Would the real thing be palatable enough to turn a blind eye to, or have we stepped over the divide?    

  3. It’s not a surprise.  The video of the torture is a problem, but the torture itself, well, that isn’t?

    And this is a justification for torture?

    The fact that the prisoner might have been a murderous thug would be lost in the revulsion and condemnation of the United States for barbarism.

    Got that? Barbarism is ok if it’s behind closed doors.  And it’s ok if the person you commit your barbarism on is a “murderous thug.”  But holy moley, don’t let anybody see or know what you’re doing, because then they’ll get really, really, really upset.

    Get the f*ck out of here.  I want my country back!

  4. But if you read it for actual content… well…  

  5. to be rid of damning evidence of our torture, maybe, even death to those tortured.  The excuses given were just that — excuses.

  6. out how terrible the reaction was to the Abu Ghraib tapes and that we surely wouldn’t want that to happen again?

    WHAT happen again?????????  He (probably a Republican, but this was so far gone even for one of them) was lamenting that the U.S. got a black eye BECAUSE THE TAPES GOT OUT–NOT for what the tapes showed.  He never suggested there was anything wrong with the acts that ACTUALLY OCCURRED and were caught on tape.

    The destruction of the CIA tapes, he contended, was necessary or the U.S. would look bad just as we did when the AG tapes went public.

    He never, never once, suggested that actually perpetrating torture was in any way involved with this pr problem.

    • documel on December 12, 2007 at 00:36

    How would the tapes “get out?  It’s such a ridiculous premise.  I suppose agent 008 from al Qaeda could sneak past the CIA front door in VA, get all the necessary codes to get into the elevator, sweet talk some blonde named Plame, and crack open the safe.  

    Gimme a break, the place is secure, they don’t want the Democrats to win in 2008 and get access.  They don’t want a Dem president to choose to show the world what chickenhawkshits did.

    The CIA is running scared–out in the open–and pleading incompetence –on security.  We’re not focusing on that aspect.  Oh, I’m sure the “tapes” still exist.  The chickenhawkshits don’t have the balls to really destroy anything–this is akin to my dog ate the homework.

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