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There’ve been lots of good posts by Martin Radwin.

Some idiot -- trying to prove that Ayn Rand approved of U.S. torture -- brought up Mickey Spillane, whose early thrillers Ayn Rand had admired. Their lead character Mike Hammer, besides being fictional along with the situations and actions, was a private individual acting in a private capacity.

Ayn Rand once reviewed Mickey Spillane’s thriller Day of the Guns (“Book Report” The Objectivist Newsletter October 1964) and castigated Spillane for presenting as a hero the character Tiger Man, a government agent -- G-man in the parlance of those days -- whose job was to commit extra-judicial murders in a good cause, very like Jack Bauer and his extra-judicial tortures.

As for what Ayn Rand might have thought of Mr. Yoo, see:

Ayn Rand on Torture

Here are George Washington’s thoughts on torture (both quoted in ARI Watch):

“Should any American soldier be so base and infamous as to injure any [prisoner] ... I do most earnestly enjoin you to bring him to such severe and exemplary punishment as the enormity of the crime may require. Should it extend to death itself, it will not be disproportional to its guilt at such a time and in such a cause … for by such conduct they bring shame, disgrace and ruin to themselves and their country.”

-- George Washington, Charge to the Northern Expeditionary Force, Sept. 14, 1775.

“In New York, Washington had wept while watching through a spyglass as the British massacred Americans who had surrendered. But Washington, Fischer writes, ‘often reminded his men that they were an army of liberty and freedom, and that the rights of humanity for which they were fighting should extend even to their enemies.’ To the American officer in charge of 221 prisoners taken at Princeton, Washington said, ‘Treat them with humanity, and let them have no reason to complain of our copying the brutal example of the British army in their treatment of our unfortunate brethren.’”

-- a review of the book Washington’s Crossing by David Hackett Fischer, about George Washington during the Revolutionary War.

As for torture helping to find Bin Laden, assuming it was Bin Laden: After Jessica Lynch and Pat Tillman, not to mention WMD and other lies, why give this credence merely on a fed’s say so? (In fact there are many reasons to suspect the story is false.) But assuming it is true, what was Bin Laden doing that finding him as soon as possible after almost ten years helped defend the U.S.?

Afterward, business as usual with the Administration -- even they don’t care about it.

U.S. torture probably resulted in the deaths of more Americans than 9/11, see this review of How to Break a Terrorist, a book by “Matthew Alexander” (military, apparently retired) and John Bruning:


For real world reports of U.S. torture see:


Edited by Mark
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There's clearly no need for me to answer your question, Michael. You already know the answer. Obviously, I've never even laid eyes on Glenn Beck, much less any of his TV shows; nor have I ever heard his voice or read a word he's written. I'm a "Beck Hater," am I not? Isn't that prima facie evidence of my complete ignorance of his glorious work? If I had ever actually exposed myself to any of that work, I would have been swept away by the greatness and the profundity of it all and would be running up and down the road attending his rallies whenever I wasn't glued to my TV set basking in the wonder of his intellect and his commitment to individual liberty.



Is this an example of the straw man argument?

It looks a lot like it to me. And a classic case at that. Pure true-believer stuff and preaching in between the lines, but not exactly at its finest.

You may find this strange, but I usually ask a question with sincere interest in the answer. Only rarely do I ask rhetorical questions. And when I do, I almost never address them specifically to a person. (I can't think of a case right off the bat, but I might have at some point in the past. At least I have made it a conscious point for a long time to police myself on this.)

I know it's hard to believe, but I exist as I exist, not as in your presumptions. I asked if you are familiar with Beck's stuff because I didn't know. The context was a bit loaded, I admit, but I was truly interested in finding out.

Oddly enough, after all the yawp, I continue not knowing because you didn't answer, although you did make some point or other, whatever it was.

One thing's for sure. Your non-answer fits perfectly with a lot of stuff I have already seen elsewhere when Beck's name comes up.

I admit, I have difficulty understanding the point of arguments like yours above--ones that are all attitude and no substance. I see this as a form of whiling away and wasting a good writing talent on bullshit and that usually makes me sad.


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