Sunday, November 04, 2007

Out of context? Uh, no.

Some readers below are charging that I took Putz "out of context" by changing his sarcastic, rhetorical question about torture, into a statement. But this is a nonsensical complaint, since my post accurately reflects Putz's position. (updated below)

As he writes below that original post (emphasis mine):

Given that only three people have been waterboarded in interrogation, though, the discussion seems a bit overheated...So is this an issue now because it matters, or because it's a partisan political tool? I think I know the answer.

Overheated. Partisan political tool (note--exactly the same wording he used previously). It's clear that Putz believes that the issue is pretty trivial and just a political football. Exactly why Sullivan linked to my original post. Exactly what my original post said.

Putz's glib attitude about torture -- an issue which is less about waterboarding than the rule of law -- has drawn criticism from conservatives like Sullivan and Djerejian. And it's also part of the reason why the libertarians at Cato think so little of Putz.

So please, if you're going to complain about contextual edits, explain to Sullivan and Djerejian and me what Putz really means by referring to the torture debate as an overheated partisan political tool.


Putz has written a long rebuttal to Sullivan and complaining about being taken out of context.

DO NOT TRUST CONTENT FROM ANDREW SULLIVAN: I can't go around answering all of Andrew Sullivan's misrepresentations, but it's telling that he can't seem to criticize me without misrepresenting what I've said. In this post he links to a truncated version of my views on the torture debate on another blog. Why?

Probably because if he linked to my actual post it would reveal some uncomfortable things. First, that I'm not pro-torture despite Andrew's pathetic eagerness to find me so...
Stop right there. No one has accused Putz of being pro-torture. On the contrary, the complaint about Putz is that he claims to be anti-torture while (a) glibly downplaying its significance; (b) failing to criticize those in the Bush administration responsible while; (c) attacking everyone who brings up torture as being politically motivated and disingenuous. Exactly what he's done again.
...and second, that I was criticizing the Democrats' inconsistency on the subject.
Yeah -- big surprise. Criticizing the Democrats over torture. How rich. Again, nothing in my post suggested otherwise. So far, we've seen exactly zero misrepresentations.
Oh, and third, it appears that waterboarding, over which Andrew has exercised himself so much in recent years, and upon which he has staked his many, many, many, many claims to moral supremacy, actually stopped in 2003 -- ironically, just as Andrew executed his pivot against Bush and the war -- and was only used three times.
Again, note here that Putz's entire rebuttal consists of arguing with a straw man by making the same claim that he's anti-torture, trying to minimize the entire issue of torture by parroting the Bush administration's line that it's only been used three times, while simultaneously attacking Sullivan and the Democrats over the same issue.

A classic.

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