Thursday, November 15, 2007

Jonah Goldberg volunteers to get waterboarded. For 10 whole minutes.

Okay, so that's not exactly what he says *here, but he thinks he'd rather be tortured for 10 minutes than be killed outright. All the while, he's doing a sort of sideways Mukasey on the waterboarding is/is not torture question. Not to mention that he ends up invoking the ticking bomb scenario, in which case enhanced interrogation techniques would maybe be justified.

Dude, think back to when you were a kid, spending all day, everyday, all summer long at the local swimming pool. Water volleyball. How many back flips can you do off the high dive? Who can swim the farthest underwater on one breath? Marco Polo. Chicken fights. Dunking, which is what the chicken fights generally devolved into.

Dunking. Been there, done that, didn't get the t-shirt. It's not exactly waterboarding, but it'll do for illustration.

I was frequently the dunkee, being smaller than most of the other kids, and a good sport about it to boot, because escape was really easy, even from a big pile-on. There was that one time, though, when they held me down a mite too long, and I panicked and took a deep breath. Of water. Heavily chlorinated swimming pool water. At which point, panicked turned to berserk, and I escaped by injuring two of my assailants badly enough that they had to go to the doctor for stitches and tetanus shots.

So, I offer you a deal, Jonah. You volunteer for 10 minutes of real waterboarding, by people who really mean it, and I'll send you the t-shirt of your choice.

Then we can talk about First Principles.

* That's 10 or 20 or 30 minutes of your life you'll never get back if you watch the video. I provide the link not because I expect you to watch it, but just for completeness' sake.


Keifus said...

There probably isn't a shortage of people who would really like to waterboard Jonah Goldberg. (I've got to think that even teh people who know how to do it must find him to be a smug little shit too.)

Stitches and tetanus shots, huh?

hipparchia said...

yep. both.

jonah goldberg is an irritating fellow, but it was fascinating, in a watching the train wreck sort of way, to listen to him [i didn't actually watch more than a couple of minutes] finally work his way around to accepting that we could have a cultural taboo on torture without having to come up with rational reasons for torture being wrong.

i was mildly flabbergasted that he was unable to come up with a rational basis for banning torture, but i was illogically [and wickedly] filled with glee when he settled on a solution that resembled the intelligent design folks' notion of "irreducible complexity."