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Why Do People Say Stupid Things?


Condoleeza Rice explaining why the use of harsh interrogation techniques was justified against Al Qaeda suspects, but not World War II German POWs:

With all due respect, Nazi Germany never attacked the homeland of the United States

In fact, the German Kriegsmarine sank approximately 600 US and Allied merchant vessels in and around US territorial waters between January and June 1942. These attacks came shortly after Nazi Germany declared war on the United States. Approximately 1500 American sailors were killed in these attacks. I suspect that an attack on an American ship in US territorial waters would be interpreted by just about anyone as an attack on the homeland of the United States.

With all due respect, it’s probably best not to use the construction “with all due respect,” or to refer to your interlocutor as “dear,” when you have only the most tenuous grasp on the underlying facts…

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