Bush Sees No Problem With Waterboarding

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“McCain can never win,” came the considered judgment of our son Henry, who will be able to vote for the first time in the November election. “He’s too ugly.”

“Oh Henry, don’t be silly,” said his mother. “You don’t vote for people based on what they look like. Besides, whoever is elected is bound to be better than our current president.”

What set off the remark was today’s news. Mr. George W. Bush, president of the Land of the Free, 2000 years after the birth of Christ, and more than 200 years after the U.S. Constitution banned the use of ‘cruel and unusual punishment,’ said he saw no problem with waterboarding even when used against people who had never been convicted of a crime.

“It is disgraceful,” said Elizabeth. “Pretty soon the IRS will be using it in tax audits.”

It may be disgraceful, but it is not illogical.

President Bush believes torturing prisoners by holding them underwater has provided useful intelligence ‘and saved American lives.’

“Well, nailing Christ to the cross might have provided useful information,” came the response, “but it was still wrong.”

Capitalism is a moral system, we pointed out yesterday.

In the long run, it pays to save your money…make your investments carefully…work hard and avoid unnecessary spending. Capitalism will reward you. It is a ‘system’ that rewards virtue…and punishes lapses of judgment. But there are times when it seems like lapses of judgment pay off. When prices run up as they did in the housing bubble of ’97-’07 you begin to seem like a bit of a fool if you stay out of it. It is as if a wild party was going on down the block…you feel left out if you don’t go. And the people who are having the best time are the people who have let themselves go. They’re drinking hard…and dancing on the tables. They buy houses they can’t afford…and make money when prices rise. They buy subprime debt…and earn higher yields than more solid credits. They speculate on Chinese stocks…and they seem like geniuses.

“C’mon…get with the program,” they say. “Get in the swing of things…buy a new house; just claim that you earn more than you really do…and don’t worry, the appraiser will go along…and you’ll be able to borrow as much as you want. Then, you can ‘take out equity’ just like everyone else.”

The guy who sticks to his principles feels like a hopeless fuddy duddy…a loser and a chump. He saves…and his savings lose value to inflation. He looks for value in the stock market and can’t find a thing. He drives his old car…and holds on to his old house, while his neighbors splash out.

But then, comes the correction…and he doesn’t look like such a dope after all.

Always and everywhere, you can do what seems convenient…or you can do what is right. Sometimes it is hard to tell which is which; often it is not.

When the Japanese invaded China in World War II they used waterboarding against their prisoners holding them under dirty, soapy water until they were obliged to breathe the water into their lungs. Then, they hauled them out, punched the water out of them…and laughed at their prisoners gasping on the floor. What useful information they got from their victims, we don’t know…but we have no doubt that they justified their tortures with the familiar excuse: it was useful.

In that same inglorious epoch, the Germans and the Soviets both invaded Poland. The poor Poles were doomed. The Bolsheviks rounded up the Polish officers and systematically murdered them…and then tried to pin it on the Nazis. It wasn’t a very nice thing to do, but it would have been damned inconvenient to allow those officers to live…and possibly pose a danger to Soviet control later on.

Likewise, the Germans went to work on the Poles on their side of the frontier…and later in all of Poland. They rounded up the communists…the trade unionists…the religious leaders…the Jews…and the troublemakers. They did not hold back from torture either not if it might save the lives of German soldiers! Then, they moved on to murdering millions.

Once you allow yourself to do what is convenient…instead of doing what is right…you are on the road to Hell.

Bill Bonner
The Daily Reckoning Austraila

Bill Bonner

Bill Bonner

Best-selling investment author Bill Bonner is the founder and president of Agora Publishing, one of the world's most successful consumer newsletter companies. Owner of both Fleet Street Publications and MoneyWeek magazine in the UK, he is also author of the free daily e-mail The Daily Reckoning.
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2 Comments on "Bush Sees No Problem With Waterboarding"

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Ian Smith
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Dear Bill, you have great knowledge about economics and I respect that. You can see clearly behind the curtain of BS hung in front of the truth by the System. Bill, I have great knowledge about the Roman Catholic Church. Trained in the Ministry, retired missionary to New Guinea with the Franciscans and extensive knowledge of the Bible; so I say with love and respect. Spend some time studying the first 300 years of the Common Era as you have studied gold. Pull aside the curtain of lies hung by the Church Fathers and you with find the truth in… Read more »
James Bond
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Ian Smith Sorry to go off topic, but I can’t resist answering you. The bible just like the torah and koran appears to be a rehash of ancient tales comming from egypt and other ancient cultures. Alot of it comes from sun worship, and the study of the heavens (stars). Its just mostly paganism. The light of the world, gods sun. Ever seen the sun walk on water? Look at the sunset and you’ll see it. December 25 is when the sun rises or is born after having been at it’s minimum point or dead for three days in the… Read more »
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