O'Reilly says kidnap and waterboard Reid and Pelosi. I say, why stop there?

From Media Matters via The Huffington Post:

Bill O’Reilly suggestedthat the CIA should kidnap Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nevada) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), and perhaps even waterboard Pelosi, at a stop on his “Bold & Fresh” speaking tour on Saturday.

O’Reilly, of course, was joking. Hilarity, yes, followed by predictable outrage.

To me, O’Reilly’s spiel raises an important yet rarely addressed issue: Why is it such a taboo to threaten our leaders with kidnapping and torture and other acts of violence?

Now, I’ve become pretty close to a pacifist in my old age–although, like O’Reilly, I have satirically fantazied about non-violent yet effective means of silencing politicians that have enraged me in the past. (Which got me, rather proudly, on this rightwing list.) This is why I’m such fan of tasers, but I generally think violence directed against anyone, even politicians and pundits, is a bad idea. I’m opposed to it, in fact.  

Here’s the dilemma, as I see it. Our political and media elite regularly talk about committing gross acts of violence against other people all the time. Take Iran, for instance, where a certain presidential candidate (and now Secretary of State) once said she’d be willing to “obliterate” that country. That, in my view, would mean the death hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians, albeit civilians who have a different skin tone and live far away. 

Not only  have our elites just talked about this stuff–they have a proven track record of following through, often in a rather spectacularly violent fashion. (See: Regime change, Iraq, Shock and Awe.) As for torture and kidnapping–well, our policy seems to be that our enemies, innocent or not, are fair game for abduction and prolonged detention, and the occaisional “accidental” death. (See: Greenwald, Glenn, for more details.) 

Our enemies, of course–like Mr. Bin Laden, or Al Qaeda in Iraq, or Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadinasometing in Iran–are also fans of threatening massive violence against U.S. civilians, so I’m not letting them off the hook. They’re assholes too, perhaps exponentially bigger assholes than our own homegrown leaders, I’d say. But I’m just an American, so I’m saving my ire for people I can actually not vote for.

So, my moral/philosphical question for the day is this: why is it okay to threaten large groups of innocent people with death and destruction, yet considered rather impolite, as O’Reilly has demonstrated, to specify ones threat against people who are actually complicit in policies that have brought about death and destruction?

If someone can enlighten me, please do so.

Of course, O’Reilly isn’t talking about war or kidnapping or torture–he’s just saying that Pelosi and Reid need to get out of the way so Obama can effectively govern or something.I would disagree with him there. My kidnap and waterboard list would look a little bit to different to help the president achieve those aims. (And no, Bill wouldn’t be on it–he’s a talented guy, and I have always had sympathy for his phone-sex talking and porn obsessed ways.)

In conclusion.

To make this post more interactive, please feel free to list in the comments section your top two or three folks who could use a good kidnap and waterboard experience to smooth the way for Obama to pass his agenda. All in good, hilarious, fun.

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About michaelhastings

Journalist
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5 Responses to O'Reilly says kidnap and waterboard Reid and Pelosi. I say, why stop there?

  1. markbolton says:

    Fun fun fun!

    Well, if I MUST limit the list to 2 or 3, that makes it a little more difficult. Here goes:

    Joe Lieberman – He gets the most enhanced of the enhanced interrogation techniques! Bring the pain! (I might keep going even after he has agreed to do everything I say.)

    Rahm Emmanuel – I’d just slap him around enough to leave him sobbing in a corner.

    Barack Obama – This is the one person who is most in Obama’s way. I’d start his session by…………………

    ………Oh shit! I gotta go now – the FBI is at the door!

    Thanks Michael.

  2. jaimecolemansc says:

    Good post. Ok, I know she is not a political figure, but the one I would love to see water-boarded is Susan Smith. I live in South Carolina and was shocked to read last week that she has requested a new trial. Something about her first one being “unfair.” Right. Given the nature of her crime, I think water-boarding for her would be most suitable.

  3. vickielyna says:

    Micheal,
    I would like to waterboard Joe Lieberman. The man is apples one day and oranges the next. It seems to me that he needs a score card to figure out if he is for something before he is against it to quote Sen Kerry.

    I would like to waterboard Mr Dick Cheney. He had nothing to say when running the country as VP. Now you can’t shut him up! If only what he had to say could be verified waterboarding wouldn’t be nessary. But of course it is classified. So Cheney actual rates top oh my list.

  4. Kim Lancaster says:

    Dick Cheney
    Donald Rumsfeld
    Boone Pickens for funding the Swiftboat political/slander debacle

  5. dtafs says:

    Ann Coulter, Michelle Malkin and Hannity.

    All smug, elitist garbage peddlers.

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