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This evening I received an E-mail from a Republican friend of mine. It was a forward of a letter by Bud Day who was tortured in Vietnam and is a medal of honor recipient. I will put the full letter in the extended box and am hoping that together we can put together a cogent, link filled response. I've already pulled some links myself but this place has always proven awesome at putting together full rebuttals to these types of things.

I'd appreciate no vitriolic responses, only measured fatual ones. That's not to say that I won't be hard on my friend for some of the absolute bullshit in the letter. I will be quite hard on him because he is a better man than this.

Medal of Honor recipient Bud Day Talks of Torture

The prelude to the "response" below, from Colonel Bud Day, Medal of Honor recipient - prisoner of war survivor - reads "I didn't expect to be reminded of my treatment some 36 years ago on this holiday weekend but our politicians find it worthy to ignore what some have tried to recount to them, who have actually been there."

I got shot down over N Vietnam in 1967...a sq commander.

After I returned in 1973...  I published 2 books that dealt a lot with "real torture" in Hanoi.  Our make believe president is branding our country as a bunch of torturers when he has no idea what torture is.

As for me. Put thru a mock execution because I would not respond...pistol whipped on the head...same event...  Couple of days later...hung by my feet all day. I escaped and got recaptured a couple of weeks later...  I got shot and recaptured.  Shot was OK...what happened after was not.

They marched me to Vinh...  put me in the rope trick, trick. Almost pulled my arms out of the sockets. Beat me on the head with a little wooden rod until my eyes were swelled shut, and my unshot, unbroken hand a pulp.

Next day hung me by the arms...rebroke my right wrist...wiped out the nerves in my arms that control the hands. Rolled my fingers up into a ball.  Only left the slightest movement of my L forefinger.  So I started answering with some incredible lies.

Sent me to Hanoi strapped to a barrel of gas in the back of a truck.

Hanoi...on my knees. Rope trick again.  Beaten by a big fool.

Into leg irons on a bed in Heartbreak Hotel.

Much kneeling--hands up at Zoo.

Really bad beating for refusing to condemn Lyndon Johnson.

Several more kneeling events.  I could see my knee bone thru kneeling holes.

There was an escape from the annex to the Zoo.  I was the Senior Officer of a large building because of escape. They started a mass torture of all commanders.

I think it was July 7, 1969...they started beating me with a car fan belt.  In first 2 days I took over 300 strokes. Then stopped counting because I never thought I would live thru it.

They continued day-nite torture to get me to confess to a non-existent part in the escape.  This went on for at least 3 days.  On my knees. Fan belting...  cut open my scrotum with fan belt stroke.  Opened up both knee holes again.  My fanny looked like hamburger. I could not lie on my back.

They tortured me into admitting that I was in on the escape and that my 2 room-mates knew about it.

The next day I denied the lie.

They commenced torturing me again with 3- 6- or 9 strokes of the fan belt every day from about July 11 or 12rh...to 14 October 1969.  I continued to refuse to lie about my roommates again.

Now, the point of this is that our make-believe president has declared to the world that we (U.S.) are a bunch of torturers...  Thus it will be OK to torture us next time when they catch us....because that is what the U.S.  does.

Our make-believe president is a know nothing fool who thinks that pouring a little water on some one's face, or hanging a pair of womens pants over an Arabs head is TORTURE.  He is a meathead.

I just talked to MOH holder Leo Thorsness who was also in my sq in jail.... as was John McCain ... and we agree that McCain does not speak for the POW group when he claims that Al Gharib was torture... or that "water boarding" is torture.

Our president and those fools around him who keep bad mouthing our great country are a disgrace to the United States.  Please pass this info on to Sean Hannity.  He is free to use it to point out the stupidity of the claims that water boarding ...which has no after effect... is torture.  If it got the Arab to cough up the story about how he planned the attack on the twin towers in NYC ... hurrah for the guy who poured the water.

BUD DAY, MOH

George Everett "Bud" Day (born February 24, 1925) is a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel and Command Pilot who served during the Vietnam War. He is often cited as being the most decorated U.S. service member sinceGeneral Douglas MacArthur, having received some seventy decorations, a majority for actions in combat. Day is a recipient of the Medal of Honor.

I am at work and have to set up my overnight show as well as prep the morning show so I will be checking the diary occasionally until I am done. Then I will be adding more responses.

Originally posted to Mike S on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:21 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  be careful (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, EJP in Maine

    we don't want your friend going off on you. This Internet stuff can get pretty hairy.

    "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

    by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:29:16 AM PDT

    •  That's why it will be vitriol free. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jeff Y, mieprowan

      I'm surprised he sent it to me. He is retired AF and we have talked about how the President deserves respect. The fact that Day says Obama is a "make believe President is actually my first thoughts in my response to him.

      •  perhaps a reactive response (0+ / 0-)

        to Bush 43's illegal initial election.

        "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

        by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:39:58 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Actually I will be talking (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mieprowan

          about the fact that he got less votes without calling it "illegal." Also his 3% win in 2004 versus Obama's 9%+ win in 2008.

          •  well, if you're going to do this (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mike S

            sticking to factual corrections is surely the best approach. Think of it as a flame war in progress, and now you want to make a comment.

            And if he comes back angry, slow way, way down.

            "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

            by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:55:04 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  You are getting your numbers wrong (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mike S

            In 2008 Barack Obama beat John McCain by 7.3% in the popular vote (52.87% to 45.60%), with almost 10 million more votes. This was the biggest win for a presidential candidate since 1984 when Reagan beat Modale by a landslide of 16.9 million votes. More Americans voted for Barack Obama for president then any other candidate in history.

            So much for the "pretend" president crap.

            In 2004, George Bush barely beat John Kerry by 2.46% in the popular vote (50.73% to 48.27%) garnering 3 million more votes than Kerry.

            I always check Dave Liepp's election atlas for the precise numbers in these arguments.

            That's Countdown for the 2,082nd day since Mission Accomplished. You thought that would change? Are the troops home yet? Keith Olbermann January 20, 2009

            by Ed in Montana on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:53:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  Bud Day (7+ / 0-)

        just admitted that torture doesn't work.

        Next day hung me by the arms...rebroke my right wrist...wiped out the nerves in my arms that control the hands. Rolled my fingers up into a ball.  Only left the slightest movement of my L forefinger.  So I started answering with some incredible lies.

        What an idiot...

        "Load up on guns, bring your friends, it's fun to lose and to pretend" Kurt Cobain-1991

        by Jeff Y on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:19:24 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hard to reason with these people (8+ / 0-)

      EVERYONE who has ever been waterboarded, even in totally "safe" controlled conditions believes it is torture. It is simply not what the letter describes.

      Christopher Hitchens is waterboarded

      Conservative talk radio host is waterboarded

      This guy admits that when he was tortured he lied. Torturing is great for getting false confessions. That's why autocratic regimes use it. There is no evidence that any intelligence was received from the torture program that wouldn't have been gotten through other means of interrogation. And plenty of evidence that false confessions waste valuable resources.

      We are not the Viet Cong. We are not Al Qaeda. We are the United States of America. We do not torture. Thank God we have a President who is dedicated to upholding the Constitution and the Values that make this country a place we are proud to call home.

      •  it's hard to reason with them (4+ / 0-)

        because conservatives are pro-punishment in a way that liberals aren't. It colors how they think about abuse in all sorts of ways.

        "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

        by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:47:28 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  True (3+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Mike S, bruised toes, mieprowan

          This is just so filled with rage and emotion for them that they can't see the logical fallacies. From how can "that one" be President, to "those people" deserve to be tortured because they're terrorists--they're Muslims afterall and some poor farmer took our bribe to finger them as al Qaeda. (And of course there are very very bad people at Gitmo, but these guys don't seem to care...they all deserve it.)

          And as I think the videos above show, there is absolutely no question that Waterboarding is torture. It invokes a biological response so that the subject's body doesn't just believe, it "knows" it is drowning. I'm amazed that people who know exactly what is going to happen, steel themselves for it, and then last less than 5 seconds. That is pretty extraordinary.

          •  conservatives think morality (7+ / 0-)

            comes out of control and punishment; liberals think it comes out of caring and empathy. They think we are out of control profligates; we think they are
            sadistic and stunted.

            They also believe brown people to be inferior to white people, generally speaking. Since white men tend to be the most financially successful, it must be so. Brown people who wind up in prison must have lacked character.

            It goes well beyond Gitmo. Conservatives are mechanistic in their approach to humanity and life in general; liberals are more organic. For conservatives, torturing someone until they confess is like slapping your TV until it stops making that annoying humming sound. For liberals, it makes as much sense as pulling on a plant to make it grow faster.

            Much of the arguments proposed are really straw men, I think (such as "Is waterboarding torture or not?") The real debate is taking place on a much deeper level, about what morality is really about.

            "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

            by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:11:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Honor (2+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              GeorgeXVIII, mieprowan

              hon·or
              n.

              1. High respect, as that shown for special merit; esteem: the honor shown to a Nobel laureate.

              2.
              a. Good name; reputation.
              b. A source or cause of credit: was an honor to the profession.
              3.
              a. Glory or recognition; distinction.
              b. A mark, token, or gesture of respect or distinction: the place of honor at the table.
              c. A military decoration.
              d. A title conferred for achievement.

              1. High rank.
              1. The dignity accorded to position: awed by the honor of his office.
              1. Great privilege: I have the honor to present the governor.
              1. Honor Used with His, Her, or Your as a title and form of address for certain officials, such as judges and mayors: Her Honor the Mayor.

              8.
              a. Principled uprightness of character; personal integrity.
              b. A code of integrity, dignity, and pride, chiefly among men, that was maintained in some societies, as in feudal Europe, by force of arms.
              c. A woman's chastity or reputation for chastity.

              1. honors Social courtesies offered to guests: did the honors at tea.
              1. honors

              a. Special recognition for unusual academic achievement: graduated from college with honors.
              b. A program of advanced study for exceptional students: planned to take honors in history.

              1. Sports The right of being first at the tee in golf.
              1. Games

              a. Any of the four or five highest cards, especially the ace, king, queen, jack, and ten of the trump suit, in card games such as bridge or whist.
              b. The points allotted to these cards. Often used in the plural.
              tr.v. hon·ored, hon·or·ing, hon·ors
              1.
              a. To hold in respect; esteem.
              b. To show respect for.
              c. To bow to (another dancer) in square dancing: Honor your partner.

              1. To confer distinction on: He has honored us with his presence.
              1. To accept or pay as valid: honor a check; a store that honors all credit cards.Idiom:

              honor bound
              Under an obligation enforced by the personal integrity of the one obliged: I was honor bound to admit that she had done the work.

              The word stands for much more than a medal. And, acts that convey honorable service, do not define every aspect of a person. To hold laws, designed to give every citizen of the world the right to be humanely treated, is the honorable thing to do. We became signatories to the Geneva Conventions for this reason. The same applies for the U.N. Conventions against torture.

              While Col. Days' service was honorable, his actions at present, are quite contrary to the above definition of honor. To call the President of the United States, 'make believe,' is quite dishonorable; It dishonors the will of the American electorate, simply because he has a problem with the holder of the title.

              The treatment Col. Day was subjected to, was indeed torture. And it is why any and all forms of this most inhuman institution are banned, internationally, by law. To allow it in any form, is to invite the level and frequency to which Col. Day suffered. For such a distinguished man to not understand this is to say the least, unsettling.

              A Medal of Honor conveys our nation's appreciation for actions to be held in high esteem. Yet, that does not in any way bestow upon the recipient, any monopoly on honor, or any special privledge to define it. Nor, does it in any way make the recipient incapable of acting in an dishonorable manner, which this letter, should he actually have written it, most certainly is. It dishonors the President of the United States, and it dishonors the international agreements to which the United States are legally bound by, purely for political, and partisan reasons.

              I have a great respect the aspects of Col. Days' service to his country in his capacity as an Officer of the United States Air Force, I do not share in any way, his totally inappropriate condemnation of holding our nation subject to the laws it has agreed to, for any reason.

  •  Did we really need more evidence that (0+ / 0-)

    being a soldier doesn't mean you're a human being?

    Soldiers have no moral mandate on what is or isn't cruelty.

  •  It looks complex (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, truong son traveler

    and you have to wade through a lot of bullshit here, but in the end, it's actually quite simple.

    This, yet another of the things I wish would just go away (right wing e mail spam), is a straw man.

    Point out that Obama never said that the United States is a nation of torturers. Or at least ask him to provide evidence that he did say that (which really isn't there).

    Also point out that waterboarding is more than just "pouring a little water on someone's face".

    Just a couple of things I think you could use. If your friend is reasonable, he'll actually think about those two points.

    liberal bias = failure to validate or sufficiently flatter the conservative narrative on any given subject

    by RockyMtnLib on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:39:24 AM PDT

  •  Sounds like a bunch of tall tales to me (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hhex65, moosely2006, csquared

    From old folks.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to justify invading Iraq.

    by yet another liberal on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:40:29 AM PDT

  •  i'd say ignore (7+ / 0-)

    you can't argue that the vet (assuming he's real) was tortured. t's his opinion, and he has a right to it.

    personally with the torture debate i try to keep the high ground. I hold my country to a higher standard than the rest of the world. the argument is not "we won't do it to try and keep other people from doing it". in my head it's "we won't do it because we're better than them who decide to torture."

  •  By all means (6+ / 0-)

    Send it to Sean Hannity, Bud - and ask him when he's going to undergo waterboarding like he said he would.

    As for your friend, I'm not sure why you would bother trying to rebut this beyond pointing out that the United States government prosecuted people for "pouring a little water on some one's face."

    btw, Bud Day was involved with the SBVT in 2004.

  •  Day is 84 years old and has suffered repetitive (14+ / 0-)

    beatings over a very long period time to the head as well as the body.

    Give him his just do, honor his outstanding service to this country. Empathize for the pain, mental and physical that he endured. Salute his steadfastness and bravery.

    Simply state that while you read with interest Bud Day's opinion as to what constitutes torture having suffered a very, very extreme form of torture himself, that you stand with those who honor the Geneva Convention. That you look to the US Army manual as well as international agreements to define what constitutes torture.

    Say that you do not want the US to use any forms of torture or what can be construed as torture. That you believe that engaging in torture to any degree puts our troops in more danger and jeopardizes our national security.

    Forget the links, just keep it simple. Honor the man and with all due respect state that you disagree with he definition of torture.

    "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

    by deMemedeMedia on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 12:54:08 AM PDT

    •  This is what I have so far. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      yet another liberal

      It's a rough draft that will undergo quite a few changes.

      Not to discount anything he went through, or his medal of honor, but any fool that calls the elected President of our country a "make believe President" isn't worth listening to. I'm sure this has already reached Sean Hannitty, like Bud wanted, and little Sean will trumpet it. Of course Hannitty has already shown that he is oo much of a coward to be waterboarded himself like he once claimed he would do. I am sure he will edit some video to make Bud's point like he has been doing on every show with other videos of President Obama.

      There are so many lies in Bud Day's screed that I don't know where to begin.

      "Now, the point of this is that our make-believe president has declared to the world that we (U.S.) are a bunch of torturers...  Thus it will be OK to torture us next time when they catch us....because that is what the U.S.  does."

      So the fact that we did torture won't have an affect, only the fact that we have admitted it will?

      "Our make-believe president is a know nothing fool who thinks that pouring a little water on some one's face, or hanging a pair of womens pants over an Arabs head is TORTURE.  He is a meathead"

      We didn't "pour a little water on someone's face." Just one prisoner alone was water boarded over 183 times. http://www.nytimes.com/... That prisoner gave us nothing.

      He is free to use it to point out the stupidity of the claims that water boarding ...which has no after effect... is torture.  If it got the Arab to cough up the story about how he planned the attack on the twin towers in NYC ... hurrah for the guy who poured the water.

      That is a straight out lie. The FBI agent who got the confession did so with legal, non-torture questioning. http://www.nytimes.com/... He was then taken away frm that agent and tortured where he never gave another bit of actual information. I'm surprised he didn't repeat the lie about the "Library Tower" in Los Angeles

      •  you're not going to get anywhere with namecalling (6+ / 0-)

        You start right out calling Bud Day a fool. Then you move on to dissing him by saying he's not worth listening to.

        This may not be vitriol, but it's definitely shit-stirring.

        Dememedemedia answered your original question well, I think.

        "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

        by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:22:01 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I'll be editting that. (2+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          frankzappatista, mieprowan

          But he and I have talked about it being his duty to show respect to President Obama. He said himself that President Obama is his "commander in chief."

          I'll probably tone that down somewhat, but it needs to be pointed out as unnacceptable.

          •  okay (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            frankzappatista

            I was just sayin' y'know.

            I've written my share of angry letters, and it's probably a good idea to start out more angry and then edit down. I may need to remember that in the future :-)

            "The longer you live and think, the more things tend to get out of hand." - Jack Levine

            by mieprowan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:44:18 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Seriously, everyone is getting too far out..... (0+ / 0-)

            on this.  Nobody has confirmed how much if any of the viral email was actually written by Bud Day.  I commented to this effect further down.  If Bud Day didn't even write the letter, all this discussion about attacking him or honoring his service is not very productive.      

            Tell your friend this email has not been authenticated, and it does not strike you as the writings of a war hero who loves democracy.  Ask your friend to authenticate it, because then you will find it more interesting and worthy of a discussion.  

            lie pie: n. A factually inaccurate viral email from a sender who believes it to be true.

            by lie pie granny on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 10:52:31 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  Even though he probably is a fool. (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          mieprowan

          At minimum a vindictive, angry, deranged man.

      •  I would start with a statement of praise for Day (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike S, businessdem, PsychoSavannah

        and all who suffered torture.

        I would scrub the links and never use the word 'lie'. I would just say that you know of no study that supports that reliable information/actionable intel is gained through the use of torture.

        My final statement would be that I support our President and Sen McCain as honorable men. That the world has seen the pictures from Abu Ghraib and more. Judgment has already been made world wide. Any attempt to now deny that we did torture would be a dishonorable act that would further harm our credibility.

        This freeper belongs in the same ashcan as that Maj Stephan Cook [the birther flake] who the DoD just told he was no longer welcome on Army property and the Commander in Afghanistan does not wish to have serve under his command.  

        Links mean shit to these Hannity/Beck/Limpballs Cheney lovers. The only link that might be worthwhile is a vid of the radio jock that took Olbermann's challenge to be waterboarded.

        "...fighting the wildfires of my life with squirt guns."

        by deMemedeMedia on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:46:44 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  Watch the tone; neocons are disrespectful (3+ / 0-)

        We don't have to be since the facts are on our side. If the alleged torture was so benign compared to NVN torture then why did at least 48 people die in American custody?
        We may quibble over if torture caused Padilla to lose his mind or how much detainees were tortured but the neocons have yet to explain away the deaths of those detainees who died from torture or explain the photos showing the extreme abuse they endured.

        The deaths are absolute and are proof of torture by US agents. See how your friend deals with facts

      •  Check your homonyms... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike S

        "So the fact that we did torture won't have an affect..."

        Change affect to effect.

        BTW, I checked Snopes and this one is new to them as of last month. They are still investigating and have no determination.

        "Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole. Troll-be-gone...apply directly to the asshole."

        by homogenius on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:39:16 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Didn't Colin Powell make the argument that he was (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      skohayes, Ezekial 23 20

      against torture because it was the only way to protect our troops from being tortured. Now that the Bush administration has made it O.K. to torture, our troops are left, if captured no one will think twice about torturing them.

      •  On Balloon Juice last night (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Ed in Montana

        in a thread in response to the Major Cook/Orly Taitz scandal, one commenter quoted Cook as saying that if captured by the enemy, he wouldn't be protected under the Geneva Conventions because Obama was not a legitimate CiC.
        I wonder if he worried about that while Bush was president?

        Save the Earth! It's the only one that has chocolate.

        by skohayes on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:20:09 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  I doubt you want Law Review articles (7+ / 0-)

    But here's an article by a federal judge who is considered one of the foremost experts on warcrimes and a veteran of the US Army Judge Advocate General Corps.

    Money quote:

    Historical analysis demonstrates that U.S. courts have
    consistently held that artificial drowning interrogation
    is torture, which, by its nature, violates U.S. statutory
    prohibitions.

    Drop by Drop: Forgetting the History of Water Torture in U.S. Courts

    Evan J. Wallach is a federal judge of the United States Court of International Trade and one of the nation's most foremost experts on war crimes and the law of war.[1][2] He was decorated for his service during the Vietnam War. Wallach also served in the United States Army Judge Advocate General's Corps in the International Affairs Division of the Office of TJAG at The Pentagon during the Gulf War, where he assisted in advising on the law of war and investigating war crimes allegedly committed by Iraqi leaders.

  •  asdf (8+ / 0-)

    You might want to hold off until SNOPES finishes their research:

    RESEARCH ON "BUD" DAY

    I have a feeling a LOT of this is pure horseshit.

    I don't have "issues". I have a full subscription!

    by GayIthacan on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:21:18 AM PDT

  •  It's just another goddamn Republican chain mail (5+ / 0-)

    And like most of them, it's likely entirely fake or highly distorted/exaggerated. Snopes has a shitload of these.

    Another plausible thing, someone decided to write down some kind of summary of what happened to this guy, and tacked on an ending of how this would somehow support torture. (despite that it actually would appear to make the case that torture doesn't work) After which some other genius decided to re-write it in the first person.

    It doesn't take a genius to see that the grammar, spelling and style does NOT match what you would expect for an 80-year-old Colonel.

    Note the birther undertone in "make-believe president"?
    Note the spelling "nite"?

    And I very much doubt that any POW of any sort would ever assert a kind of authority in representing the views and experiences of all POWs.

    I mean think about it. You don't go through torture and then criticize another tortured POW because he's got a stricter definition of 'torture' than you do. It's not reasonable. It'd be like a holocaust survivor telling another that he's too worried about neo-nazis.. if you get what I'm saying.

  •  If the emailer is your friend... (5+ / 0-)

    ...I say let it go.  There are things more important than politics.

    Perhaps a short note thanking him for taking the time to send this to you, but in your humble opinion, the question of how to treat prisoners is one which reflects more on the jailer than the jailed, and that morality isn't a contest where it is enough to simply be better than others.  But, for a friend, I'd spare the long link-filled missive.

    The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

    by Jay Elias on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:45:52 AM PDT

    •  I'm debating myself on this. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay Elias, mieprowan

      In one sense I think he expects me to respond the way I am. In another I'm not sure it's worth it.

      I may scrap my idea and use yours. It all depends on how I feel tomorrow.

      •  Best to just let it go. (0+ / 0-)

        Responding becomes a part of the "public" record and only tends to fan the flames.

        Besides, the response is really quite simple. If waterboarding isn't torture, why did the U.S. consider it a war crime and why did we execute Japanese officers who used it on our troops?

        Basically, what's happening is a think-tank somewhere is trying to push the meme that waterboarding isn't really torture, perhaps to re-set public perceptions in advance of criminal trials against the previous administration.

        We need two lists: those we will work to elect and those we will defeat. If you're not progressive, you're not a Democrat.

        by moosely2006 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:54:35 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I have a friend from high school... (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Mike S, yonder, mieprowan

        ...who I've recently gotten back in touch with through Facebook.  In the time since I'd spoken to her, her mom died and she converted to Catholicism, married an M&A lawyer and had three kids.  She's a housewife in CT now, watching Fox half the day and worried because she really is at that cusp of $250,000 grand about to get a tax hike.

        For her, being a Republican is pretty much a status game outcome.  Who she is doesn't get as much respect in a world where Democrats are in power.  It is a pretty stupid reason to believe a lot of the crap she believes and to say a lot of the things she says.  But it is, to me, and understandable and emotional reason which no amount of logic or facts will be able to penetrate.  And I have known her most of my life now, and know she's a decent person who has had a hard time at times and being hard on her because she's in a position where she has no political influence that counts right now simply isn't worth it.  I'll never get through, and it doesn't matter.

        Every friendship is different.  But friendship is like family; it counts for a lot.

        The urge to save humanity is almost always a false face for the urge to rule it. ~ H.L. Mencken

        by Jay Elias on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:57:10 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I think this is the way (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jay Elias

      I'll go with along the entire NYT Op/Ed by the FBI Interrogater.
      Not just a link.

  •  OK I just lost a long comment (4+ / 0-)

    for a synopsis so I can go to work:
    Day separated from the military circa 1973 and seems to have no connections which would give him special insights.  While we honor his service, this service gives no special validity to his political opinions. The same can be said of Curtiss LeMay, as an example.

    Here is Day on Kerry:
    http://www.freerepublic.com/...
    for a bio:
    http://www.pownetwork.org/...
    and for his political activities:
    http://www.politico.com/...
    http://www.bradblog.com/...
    I am not sorting sources
    http://www.jihadwatch.org/... and then several videos:
    http://utube.smashits.com/...

    The guy reminds me of LeMay except I don't think LeMay ever trashed his fellow vets as Day has Kerry and Clarke.

  •  The fucker is a racist thug, to boot: (0+ / 0-)

    "If it got the Arab..."

    So where's all the outrage against anti-atheist bigotry?

    by skeptiq on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 01:56:49 AM PDT

  •  The thing that stuck out to me was... (7+ / 0-)

    "If it got the Arab to cough up the story about how he planned the attack on the twin towers in NYC ... hurrah for the guy who poured the water."

    Day is contradicting his own argument. He says that waterboarding isn't torture, but just getting water poured on your face. If that were true, why would anyone subjected to it ever "cough up" a story?

    Terrorists who are trained to withstand brutal treatment, and who are indoctrinated to covet death (martyrdom) in pursuit of their mission, are not likely to give up secret plans because their face got wet. So obviously waterboarding must be horrendous if it can compel these determined operatives to make confessions.

    Day has to make a choice:

    1. If waterboarding is just face-wetting, it can't produce a confession and is therefore ineffective.
    1. If waterboarding is so painful and frightening that it can produce a confession, it is therefore torture.

    He can't have it both ways.

    ~
    ••• CELEBRATE with America's BAraCK Stickers And T-Shirts •••
    ~

    by KingOneEye on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:00:21 AM PDT

  •  Bud Day (0+ / 0-)

    is one of the Wingnuts goons who appeared in the Swiftboat ads that were used to smear John kerry.

    He has NO credibility whatsoever.

    "Load up on guns, bring your friends, it's fun to lose and to pretend" Kurt Cobain-1991

    by Jeff Y on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 02:11:46 AM PDT

  •  Two related points that could be addressed (0+ / 0-)

    One is that "Among other endeavors, Day filed a class action lawsuit against the United States government in 1996 on behalf of military retirees who were stripped of their military medical care benefits at age 65 and told to apply for Medicare. Although winning the case in the district court in 2001, the judgment against the U.S. was overturned by the U.S. Court of Appeals in 2002."  Congress later fixed that particular health care problem. I trust that Mr. Day will be pleased that President Obama is trying to provide medical care for all citizens.  Universal medical care will prevent time lapsing of benefits and make lawsuits like his unnecessary.

    Mr. Day also made controversial comments "during a 2008 teleconference with reporters from the Miami Herald,...regarding John McCain's stance on the Iraq War, stating that 'I don't intend to kneel, and I don't advocate to anybody that we kneel, and John [McCain] doesn't advocate to anybody that we kneel.' Also during this interview he sparked controversy by making a broad generalization about what some see as an ideological divide between Islam and America: 'the Muslims have said either we kneel, or they're going to kill us.'"  I have not heard of "you kneel or die" incidents against our soldiers, though some Iraqi prisoners were forced into extremely demeaning positions by our soldiers.

  •  The ally of the bad is the worse (3+ / 0-)

    After I returned in 1973...  I published 2 books that dealt a lot with "real torture" in Hanoi.  Our make believe president is branding our country as a bunch of torturers when he has no idea what torture is.

    I'm sorry Mr. Bud Day endured torture far more extreme than the US apparently sanctioned through the Bus Executive Branch. In a better world it would not have happened.

    However, there is a logical flaw in the above statement, in that Mr. Day seems to require parity with his experience as the threshold for defining a treatment as torture, when the internationally established threshold is much lower.

    I will use the Air Forces score requirements for the ASVAB as an analogy. Recruits must have an AFQT score of 36 out of 99 points. If a particular individual scores 90, that is an exceptional score, but should in no way alter the criteria for the remaining recruits.

    Thus, Mr. Day's extreme treatment in no way alter the criteria for what is considered torture.

    (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

    by Enterik on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 04:54:01 AM PDT

    •  He didn't endure 'far worse torture' (0+ / 0-)

      He endured 'far worse torture than SOME of those tortured' by Americans.

      Hundreds have died in 'detention', many of them as a result of their torture, that, in point of fact, included many of the same things he called 'real torture'.

      He survived, they died.  QED, they were tortured 'worse' than he was, since they were tortured to death.

      Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

      by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:01:49 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Your point is accepted... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and serves as an important reminder to the casual reader that we soeak not just of marginal cases.

        It's not a math I like to consider but some assert that torture can be worse than death, in that death may be less painful in many ways. However, death by torture (as in the cases to which you refer) is worst of all.

        Still the point I was making is that some torture conducted on behalf of the United States, maybe the majority of it, is far less intense than that endured by Mr. Day, yet still qualifies, by definition, as torture.

        (-9,-9) pragmatic incrementalist :-P

        by Enterik on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:25:30 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  No point in responding. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    truong son traveler

    Clearly Bud Day is a tortured soul who has not learned the true lessons of the Vietnam War. Just what was he doing flying over North Vietnam anyway?

    Only "real" Americans can be subject to "real" torture.

    He's looking for continuing vengeance, against perceived enemies far and wide, and he realizes he won't get it while a "make believe" president is in office.

    Presumably the views of your Republican "friend" are similar.

    Was there undue vitriol in my response?

  •  I respect the warrior (4+ / 0-)

    but it does not follow that I have to respect his opinions. He was A prisoner, and he does not speak for all prisoners held in the Vietnam War, the Korean War, or WWII. "Of the 802 Southeast Asia POWs (661 military, 141 civilians/foreign nationals), 472 were tortured and imprisoned in North Vietnam, some longer than eight years, 263 in the South Vietnam jungle POW camps for as long as nine years, 31 in Laos, 31 in Cambodia and 5 in China (two of whom were held for over 19 years under sub-human conditions)". Source:http://www.nampows.org/. I’m sure all of the survivors have opinions on the subject of torture also.

    "Day was an active member of the Florida Republican Party, was actively involved in the 527 group Swift Vets and POWs for Truth,[4] and actively campaigned with John McCain in 2000 and 2008". source:wikipedia

    As far as I am concerned, his involvement in the so called Swift Vets and POWs for Truth makes not only his credentials but also his ethics questionable.

    Day subscribes to the "Obama isn’t an American citizen" theory and that is, as far as I am concerned, the final piece of evidence to make anything he may say moot. We all, as Americans, lived under the presidency of George Bush for 8 long years. We watched as the rule of law was scrapped in favor of "might makes right" and "tell a big enough lie enough times and it becomes truth" crap. I am sick of the conservative's lies and this is just another piece of writing by another gop conservative and carries no meaning because so much of his past is based on lies and treachery.

  •  I received some excellent (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S, Miniaussiefan

    advice from DKos'ers last year when I was dealing with a similiar bullshit email from my brother-in-law.  I wanted to blow a fuse.  Most here told me to stay clear of politics.  I politely wrote him back something along the lines of this 'How have you been?  Our views on politics are different. We will just have to agree to disagree."  He emailed me back wanting to get into a pissing match, wanting me to explain 'my side'.  I just let it go.  On a brighter note, I haven't heard from him since.  Sometimes, the less you say the more impact it has.

  •  So, basically, he describes things (0+ / 0-)

    that have gone on in Abu Ghraib and other American run facilities, says that they're torture and that they only elicited lies from him, then goes off into fantasyland and says the only torture American contractors have done was 'pouring a little water on some one's face, or hanging a pair of womens pants over an Arabs head'.

    Shrug.  There's a disgrace to the country in that letter indeed, and it certainly isn't our real president.

    Those who labour in the earth are the chosen people of God. - Thomas Jefferson

    by Ezekial 23 20 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 05:55:20 AM PDT

  •  The shame and disgrace belong to (0+ / 0-)

    those who torture and those like this man who protect the torturers.  There is no shame in speaking the truth and standing up for what is right.

    That passed by; this can, too. - Deor

    by stevie avebury on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 06:37:51 AM PDT

  •  I would just ignore it (0+ / 0-)

    Responding to it just gives the sender the attention and the reaction that he/she is looking for. You're not going to change his mind. The sender is part of that other 20-30% who is part of the GOP/conservative base. Any attempt to write back is simply wasting your time because his opinion isn't going to change. What I would do is write back and ask the sender not to email you those types of right-wing messages; and, if he doesn't stop, then I would block his email.

  •  I would bet money Bud didn't write it. (0+ / 0-)

    I know snopes is working to confirm how much if any of this viral email was actually written by Bud Day, as others mentioned above.  This tactic of attaching really vile statements to people who have perceived credibility (in this case Day is a torture victim and MOH recipient) as a means to validate those vile statements is really despicable.  I see viral emails constantly that are supposedly from our founding fathers, various people in the military (Navy SEALS), celebrities, and even God himself.  

    Don't spend a bunch of energy trying to refute this as though it actually came from Bud Day--think about it as being written by some nameless sleazy coward instead.  Nobody cares what this loser's opinion is about anything since he has likely never spent a day in uniform, so he is riding on the military's coat tails in order to be taken more seriously than he otherwise would.  Why would you bother to refute something written by someone like that?  Write your friend back and ask him if he is sure Bud Day wrote it, because it does not appear to be the product of someone who loves America and the democratic process which resulted in a victory for Barack Obama, the Commander in Chief of our Armed Forces.  Tell him that when he can authenticate it as being from Bud Day and not some weaselly coward who doesn't know jack about torture or anything else, you'll give it a second look.

    lie pie: n. A factually inaccurate viral email from a sender who believes it to be true.

    by lie pie granny on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:30:33 AM PDT

  •  Real friends don't send wingnut emails (0+ / 0-)

    "Some people meditate. I go watch baseball."--Keith Olbermann

    by Dump Terry McAuliffe on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:36:23 AM PDT

    •  Don't be like that. (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Mike S

      It took me damn near 4 years, but I managed to turn around family members that would not only have forwarded that email, but would have added animated gif images of waving flags and military personnel saluting. It took damn near 4 years, but consistent gentle measured pressure won out.

      This guy has to be prepared to counteract the effects of this email for quite a while, in a way that doesn't escalate to a confrontational ultimatum scene, so that the door of communication remains open. Over time, his friend could even change outlook to the point of purchasing DKos gear for christmas gifts.

  •  "So I started answering with some incredible lies (0+ / 0-)

    And that is why Torture doesn't work.

    Unless you know way more then the subject, it's of very little purpose.

    If you do know more then the subject, why bother.

    George Bush is Living proof of the axiom "Never send a boy to do a man's job" E -2.25 S -4.10

    by nathguy on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 07:40:02 AM PDT

  •  If you know your friend well (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mike S

    Personalize your reply.

    Use shared experiences to form your reply.

    Note to him Col. Day would have advocated "letting the old buzzard speak his mind" during his time in Service.

    Juxtaposition that message with "Col. Day would have called any other Officer Insubordinate" if the fact wasn't the guilty party was 84.

    Once you get your rightwinger to see that Bud Day's words fall into one of those categories.

    Press hard against any effort to confuse what you are speaking of; A retired military officer, once a POW, recounting his tales of torture.

    Finally note that his argument about torture actually enforces the premise that torture of any kind is ultimately effective in eliciting answers, just not honest answers, and then point out the Bud Day quote that seals your argument. If challenged, go ahead and point out that any time sensitive information that comes about during torture is nothing more than unverifiable words.

    "A functioning Democracy must defy economic interests of the elites on behalf of citizens" Christopher Hedges Econ 3.50&Soc. 5.79

    by wmc418 on Thu Jul 16, 2009 at 08:02:42 AM PDT

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