Having been admonished by several friends to stop wasting mental energy on such silliness, I’ve been trying desperately to avoid this situation. It hasn’t been easy, let me tell you. But I’m only human, and if you think I can stay away from quoting this follow-up, you’re probably nutty enough to think that it’s plausible that Jose Padilla (who was, you’ll remember, kept in solitary confinement) was being tortured to keep him from sending secret messages, possibly by playing the Judas Priest albums he stashes under his bed backwards:
He was on camera. In any case, quite aside from whether people have signals, if he could see, he could try to find people to communicate with. With the goggles on, he doesn’t know where he is or if any outsiders are in a position to see him. If he could see, he might at one point spot someone and — forget the code — yell out something… which we would all now be talking about.
My only point here — and mock me all you want, it doesn’t change it — is that it is at least possible that there was some reason to blindfold him that wasn’t about just trying to hurt or pressure him. The people who are saying it is impossible that there could be any other reason are the ones hanging on to a fiction. I’ve met my burden here. You’re just holding your fingers in your ears and screaming.
He could…try to find people to communicate with! The horror! (What he would yell and how this could damage national security, needless to say, go unexplained.) I’d also suggest that if Al Qaeda has a plan that requires videotape featuring precisely the right passage being leaked so that a prisoner in solitary confinement can communicate messages with his eyes, I think they need a new plan. Call me crazy, but I can’t say this scares me enough to throw the United States Constitution, the Magna Carta, and the rule of law itself under the bus. What I really like, though, is the “met my burden” line, so appropriate for the age of Yoo. (“Why hasn’t this American citizen been given a trial after being tortured for a year?” “Your honor, a trial is simply impossible. It cannot be proven to an absolute certainty that he wouldn’t use the positioning of his shackled feet to communicate messages to a race of all-powerful space aliens, informing them that it’s safe to devour our men and clothe our women in slutty high-cut Gap sweaters, where they will have no choice but to engage in objectively pro-Islamofascist breastblogging. We’ve met our burden.”)
And now, the punchline:
I don’t think you’re stupid. I think you’re a hardcore ideologue, so committed to your positions that you are willing to be dishonest.
Wow. If she could say that in this context, she’s probably the kind of person who would, with a blissful lack of self-awareness, berate people about writing long posts about substantive political issues while she can fill up screens at a time discussing American Idol and Project Runway. Oh, wait…
[Note: Mickey Kaus, Ralph Nader, and Derek Jeter were not mentioned in the making of this post.]