So the *signature* piece of Obama's second term agenda -- the legislation he's harped on loudly and constantly -- launches with an epic fail. The contractors working the site were sounding alarms well in advance of the launch. And yet Obama is somehow utterly unaware that the launch could be anything but a total success? I call bullshit. Either Obama is the most disconnected president in recent history when it comes to the success of his *core legislative agenda* or he's just bullshitting about not knowing there were issues on launch day.
Just ask Pelosi: they had to launch the website so they could find out what would crash it.
...this kind of government idiocy, ineptitude, and invasion of privacy is exactly the same kind of crap we're inviting into our healthcare system. TSA, NSA, DMV...ACA. Yeah, gimme more of that fucked up shit.
...but good luck finding another sucker willing to take his place. The USS Blackberry has been sinking for a long time now. Nothing and nobody is going to save it. Whoever takes the helm at this point will preside over the dissolution of the company, not its revival.
...armed gunman opens fire on unarmed targets, and the logical response is to request that his targets be allowed to arm themselves to fend off future attacks of a similar nature. Remind me again why it's practically impossible for me to purchase a handgun to defend myself in California?
You understand that you're opening the door for a horror show of atrocities with your "no permanent damage" qualification, right?
As opposed to the door already open for atrocities *with* permanent damage, yes, I understand that fully. I choose the non-permanent damage, thanks very much. As an analogy, which would you rather have happen to you: get shot or get tasered? I can assure you, the former is much more painful and damaging than the latter.
Wait, you think it is appropriate to induce terror in a man who has not been convicted of any crime?
When we capture a guy carrying an IED, that's as "convicted" as it needs to be, whether he's killed anyone with it yet or not.
Since I've never demonstrated the ability or desire to do any such thing, the likelihood of this scenario coming to pass is so ridiculously tiny as to relegate your point to Reductio ad absurdum. The people we are waterboarding, on the other hand, have demonstrated both the desire and the ability to do us harm. Indeed, many of those we've released from Gitmo have been recaptured later doing exactly the same kind of stuff they swore they'd never do as a condition of their release. You've never experienced the fanatical hatred these "people" have for those who don't share their ideology. They'd kill you, right now, not even knowing you, your views, or anything else about you other than the fact that you're not "one of them."
Traditional methods are indeed more effective...assuming you have the time and facilities and manpower to use them. That isn't always an option.
You think it's A-OK to deliberately put someone in that condition?
Yes. I do. Because the people subjected to this stuff aren't just random civilains snatched off the street for the fun of it. They're hardened, zealous, fanatical psychopaths who want all of us dead and our way of life destroyed. Perhaps you can't conceive of that kind of evil residing in a person. I can, due to bitter experience. You sit in pious judgement yet you've never been there, in that situation, where stark contrasts between "good" and "bad" are clearly evident.
It's not a means of information extraction.
I will admit there are methods of information extraction that are more reliable than waterboarding. However, many of them require one thing usually in short supply: time.
Here's a thought experiment for you to consider:
Think of the person (or people) most dear to you in your life. They are kidnapped. You managed to capture the kidnapper yourself only to find out that those dearest to you will die in a matter of hours unless you can extract their location and have them rescued. The kidnapper is zealous, resolute, unyielding. None of the "more effective" means of information extraction are available in the short time you have before your loved ones are killed. Do you (a) do nothing, and let them die, or (b) use whatever means available to you -- including waterboarding -- to attempt information extraction?
I challenge anyone to realistically choose option (a). The partisans in this argument will blithely say they'd choose the moral high ground, but in reality they would not. If lives are at stake -- lives that mean something to you -- you do whatever you have to do to save them, morals be damned.
"Doing X is better than doing Y" is not a justification for doing X.
You have the luxury of living in a world where people's lives don't hang in the balance. It's all fine well and good to sit in judgement when you're safe and secure at home or at work. When you have people who are willing to eviscerate you and your friends just because you don't bow to their religion or ideology, people who are more than willing to sacrifice themselves and any number of innocents around them to further their agenda, you cannot maintain the mindset you have now. If you do, you get killed. I'm sorry to say it, but you're just too naive about how the real world works.
This old chestnut again? When are people going to stop comparing the US -- a vast geographic area with large areas of low population density -- with Europe? Or Korea for that matter? It costs more because larger areas need coverage compared to European counterparts. It costs more because rural areas get artificially-low costs because they're subsidized by urban areas with artificially-high costs.
Speaking as a former Marine who *has* been waterboarded (as an exercise, not as part of an interrogation) I can say it's a thoroughly terrifying ordeal. It's probably the scariest experience I've ever had during my entire time in the Corps despite the fact that I *knew* no permanent harm was being done to me. And that's exactly why I support it. Fully. Without any reservations whatsoever. Terrifying someone's mind into complying with interrogation is orders of magnitude better than, say, ripping out fingernails, branding with hot irons, or other things that permanently damage and cripple the subject, don't you think?
And don't give me any crap about how we should just leave these people alone and they'll leave us alone. The world's too small and our ideologies are too diametrically opposed for that. Britain, France, and the U.S. tried leaving Nazi Germany alone and that didn't work out so well in the end.
In my experience, Outlook Web Access has always worked better in Firefox than it has in IE.