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01 June 2009 @ 11:26 am
Film at 11: Cookies > Waterboarding  
Via boingboing:

Bacon may not make everything better, but cookies do:

FBI Interrogator Reports That Cookies Work Better Than Torture.

This is Pure Undiluted Coyote In Action: the reprehensible deeds of the arrogant and powerful are countered by something that is, at first glance, absurd.

Part of me wants to make a funny, light-hearted post about the wonders of baked goods, full of references to Eddie Izzard and '80s cartoons about Being Nice and '70s superheroes defeating the villains with Hostess Fruit Pies.

Part of me wants to go on a self-righteous tear about how the vile nature of torture is compounded by its ineffectiveness.

Look at the icon: which part do you think won this one?

It's particularly ironic because those who try to defend "enhanced interrogation" love to accuse their opponents of "coddling" terrorist suspect. "Maybe we should just serve them tea and cookies, instead! That's sure to get them to talk!"

Guess what? It does, assholes.

Treating people as people, as human beings, goes a long way toward getting them to see you as human in turn.

Those who defend and support torture don't give a damn about facts or evidence. They don't care about getting useful or accurate information out of these prisoners. They don't even care about the "ticking time bomb" scenario gleaned from their careful, in-depth research into Kiefer Sutherland.

They just want to hurt people, or have people hurt in their name. They just want to cause pain. They don't care about terrorism or any of the rest of it; 9/11 just gave them a justification to do what they've always wanted to do, to indulge their vicious cruelty, and to assert loudly and contemptuously that any other approach is naive and weak.

It is indefensible that I live in a nation that can even debate this issue.

Not when the alternative is cookies.

I feel: indescribableindescribable
Tube: curioustoob on June 1st, 2009 07:14 pm (UTC)
Cake? Or DEATH?
A.R.M.: Land of the Midnight Snackkinkyturtle on June 2nd, 2009 07:51 am (UTC)
Erm, cake, please.
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on June 2nd, 2009 09:53 am (UTC)
Depends... what kind of cake?
(Deleted comment)
McGuffinhitchkitty on June 1st, 2009 07:34 pm (UTC)
It comes as no surprise to me that cookies > waterboarding.

My elementary school teacher gave us a simple way to remember which direction the < and > signs went: it's a mouth, and it wants to eat the bigger number.

Cookies or waterboarding? I know which I'd rather eat.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on June 2nd, 2009 12:03 am (UTC)
I like you. You can come over and fuck my sister. :)
McGuffinhitchkitty on June 2nd, 2009 02:19 am (UTC)

That is easily the oddest compliment I've gotten this month.
Araquan Skytraceraraquan on June 2nd, 2009 12:46 am (UTC)
Mine did the same thing. With the numbers that is. And the mouth.
McGuffinhitchkitty on June 2nd, 2009 02:27 am (UTC)
Actually, now that I think back, it was a substitute who did that. First explanation was "points to the smaller number".

And, presumably, laughs like Nelson.
McGuffinhitchkitty on June 1st, 2009 07:38 pm (UTC)
Somewhat more seriously, it wasn't even that he was served cookies. It's that he was diabetic and was served sugar-free cookies.

Basic. Human. Decency.

What a concept.
Tombfyretombfyre on June 1st, 2009 11:29 pm (UTC)
Ahh, if only we lived in a world where tea and cookies was the solution. Torture doesn't really work anyways, so I really agree with your statements. They're just looking to cause some pain.

The truly disturbing thing would be if they're *enjoying* it. :p
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on June 1st, 2009 11:48 pm (UTC)
I'm pretty sure Athe's post is, y'know, that tea and cookies do work. It is the solution. :)

And of course they're enjoying it. *sighs*
Tombfyretombfyre on June 1st, 2009 11:55 pm (UTC)
I should have phrased it better. ^^ I meant the *accepted* solution, and the commonly practiced one.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on June 2nd, 2009 12:02 am (UTC)
Fair nuff! I'm a little drunk so maybe reading things into things. You DO seem a good sort. ;)
Tombfyretombfyre on June 2nd, 2009 01:20 am (UTC)
Its all good. ^^ Now, lets enjoy coffee and baked goods. They make for bigger dragons, don'tcha know.
KehzaFox: sciencekfops on June 1st, 2009 11:45 pm (UTC)
I think I actually heard the interview about this on the radio not that long ago... it was pretty interesting and made sense to me. If you're interested I can try and find the recording.
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on June 2nd, 2009 12:26 am (UTC)
I suspect you know I feel this way but, yeah, I'm with you. I'm . . . sad and angry and sickened that torture is being discussed at all. Even beyond the fact that I really want to be a good person living in a country full of other good people doing good things for the world, there's the fact it doesn't work and this has been known for decades. Modern interrogation techniques are downright scientific and they reject torture not simply because of moral grounds (tho' even if torture was effective I would still reject it on moral grounds) but because it does not work.
Your Obedient Serpent: outrageathelind on June 2nd, 2009 05:40 am (UTC)
I'd reject it on moral grounds, too, even if it "worked". The fact that it doesn't work just makes me want to scream like the game show host from Weird Al's UHF: "STOOPID! YOU SO STOOPID!"
Christopher Bradleycpxbrex on June 2nd, 2009 06:19 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I feel that! There is no grounds on which torture can be argued other than it makes some assholes feel macho. The only real justification for torture, as opposed to the filthy lies that spread about it, is it makes some people feel badass. That some people like it. Ugh.
Hafochafoc on June 4th, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
I have wondered what it is that bothered me about your statement that "They just want to hurt people." I think you're right about it, in effect. But I also think we're talking about another problem of Wars on Things.

It would be tedious to list the well-known examples where those who wish to control followers do so by training those followers to see "the enemy" as less than human. It suddenly occurs to me that things like the Wah on Terra or the War on Drugs are particularly quick and effective ways to do this. We're not throwing people into concentration camps and torturing them. We're not destroying a teenager's life over a couple of whacky tabaccy cigarettes. No, we're fighting Terra! We're fighting Drugs! No living, breathing, feeling people involved at all. And you're not Soft on Terra, are you?

You don't have to convince your sheep that the enemy is less than human. Instead you've prevented them from seeing that humans are involved at all.

Now the question is, how much of that blindness among the followers is unthinking loyalty to their leaders, and how much of it is willful?
Hafochafoc on June 4th, 2009 10:12 pm (UTC)
...and by the way, Jesse Ventura said something I've been pondering. He said it on The View, and he said it better than I have. It was something like:

"Let me waterboard you and I'll have you confessing to the Sharon Tate murders."

Because of course ordinary, untrained people (if not everybody) will say anything at all to get the pain to stop. That's a lesson we SUPPOSEDLY learned centuries ago from the Church and its witch hunts.