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"Waterboarding," would-have-been GOP Vice President Sarah Palin told a cheering NRA audience Saturday, "is how we baptize terrorists." On Monday, she defended the comments even her most ardent supporters called "sacrilegious," calling it "utterly absurd for MSNBC to suggest that I could put our beloved troops in harm's way."

But MSNBC has plenty of company in making that point. Among them is her former running mate and Vietnam War POW John McCain, who on May 12, 2011, took to the Senate floor to denounce waterboarding because "I believe that if America uses torture, it could someday result in the torture of American combatants."

He should know. And so should Sarah Palin. After all, one of "our beloved troops" who could have been subjected to the waterboard was her own son, Private First Class Track Palin.

In June 2008, then-Gov. Palin described America's war in Iraq as "a task that is from God." Just three months later, John McCain's new running mate spoke at the deployment ceremony for her 19-year old son and the Alaska-based 25th Infantry Division's 1st Stryker Brigade Combat Team, known as the "Arctic Wolves." Mercifully, PFC Palin safely completed his tour and returned home.

But imagine the horror if a different scenario played out. Imagine if in early March 2009, Private Palin and two other U.S. soldiers were captured by Al Qaeda militants on the outskirts of Diyala, Iraq. Imagine our beloved troops hooked to electrodes, handcuffed naked and tormented by dogs, tactics Americans learned were applied at Abu Ghraib 10 years ago this week. And imagine Private Palin gasping for air as AQI terrorists simulated drowning him, just like American interrogators did when they waterboarded Abu Zabaydah, torture that produced no actionable intelligence. As the Washington Post reported in 2009 (below the break):

The methods succeeded in breaking him, and the stories he told of al-Qaeda terrorism plots sent CIA officers around the globe chasing leads.

In the end, though, not a single significant plot was foiled as a result of Abu Zubaida's tortured confessions, according to former senior government officials who closely followed the interrogations. Nearly all of the leads attained through the harsh measures quickly evaporated, while most of the useful information from Abu Zubaida -- chiefly names of al-Qaeda members and associates -- was obtained before waterboarding was introduced, they said.

That doesn't sound like "a task that is from God." And if it had been performed on her own son, Sarah Palin probably would not have referred to his near-suffocation and drowning as a "baptism."

For his part, John McCain could not disagree more with his VP choice and her Fox News colleague Sean Hannity, who defended her waterboarding fetish, "That's the way we roll. That's the way America rolls." In his May 2011 Senate floor speech, McCain warned the reverse was true:

Ultimately, this is about morality. What is at stake here is the very idea of America - the America whose values have inspired the world and instilled in the hearts of its citizens the certainty that, no matter how hard we fight, no matter how dangerous our adversary, in the course of vanquishing our enemies we do not compromise our deepest values. We are America, and we hold ourselves to a higher standard. That is what is really at stake.
There is no reason to believe that Private Palin didn't serve his nation to uphold those very values. His mother, sadly, is another matter altogether.

Originally posted to Jon Perr on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 12:54 PM PDT.

Also republished by Daily Kos.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Somebody (9+ / 0-)

    should waterboard her just to shut her the hell up.

  •  They just executed a guy (9+ / 0-)

    where they had to substitute for the regular meds.  The  guy suffocated - slowly strangled with probably extreme air hunger for over a half hour before he died.

    I did not feel good about it, no matter what he did.

    Best Scientist Ever Predicts Bacon Will Be Element 119 On The Periodic Table

    by dov12348 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:07:29 PM PDT

  •  She would have referred to it as torture. (9+ / 0-)
    And if [Waterboarding] had been performed on her own son, Sarah Palin probably would not have referred to his near-suffocation and drowning as a "baptism."
    •  For ten years I have pointed out (14+ / 0-)

      to Republicans that the EXACT SAME PEOPLE who cheer waterboarding and other Bush administration torture techniques would have been horrified if it had happened to US troops, would have called it torture, would have insisted that the perpetrators were war criminals, and would have called for war with any country that condoned such methods.

      It isn't just hypocrisy; they honestly don't have the least ability to think it through, to put themselves in the other person's shoes and imagine how they would react. Sad but true.

      See you in Heaven if you make the list. R.E.M.

      by Akronborn on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:06:16 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  And, these same Republicans are those (6+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        AnnieR, Jeff Y, NM Ray, Onomastic, semiot, MaikeH

        who insist President Obama is "weak," because he won't rush into the hot spots throughout the world with our mighty troops and military hardware.

        They mistake diplomacy, sanctions, and nonstop talking as weakness.  In reality, this is the hardest way to go; it is exhausting, it requires intelligence, chess playing, and extreme patience.

        We have the capabilities to blow up the world.  We have the capabilities to go into these conflicts full bore.  It has proven not to have any lasting effect.  These countries need to solve their problems themselves to have a lasting change.  We support them in other ways, often not understood by the American public.

        These warmongers can't seem to fathom Iraq and Afghanistan, i.e., have been examples of over 10 years of serving up our precious young people up to a cause that was not accomplished by bombing the hell out of these countries.

      •  It's called empathy (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Fixed Point Theorem, seatrey, Jeff Y

        and I've yet to meet a republican with even a shred of it, not to mention common decency and humanity to round it off.

        The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

        by AnnieR on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:16:07 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  I came here to address this... (0+ / 0-)

        ...and yours is the first comment that does. I thought Jon's piece, tho timely and a suitable reaction to Palin's indecency, didn't quite nail an important thing.

          The thing is as you said: If her son had been tortured, it wouldn't have made a whit of difference to her (lack of) calculus. Y'see, America is an Exceptional Nation. If we do it, it's OK.

          So Jon's heart is certainly in the right place, but... What am I saying?!?!? Jon's heart is NOT is the right place: How dare he even suggest that his own country be held to the SAME MORAL STANDARDS to which we righteously hold those DIRTY OTHER COUNTRIES. We are the ones who were attacked on 9/11, so we're earned the right to torture.

          Heck: We're earned the right to all kinds of hypocrisy. For instance, we've earned the right to roll back governmental transparency, tell the American people that we don't torture, then go ahead and torture. "Real America" has all kinds of rights that the rest of us don't have.

          That's Palin's real message. She's saying it loud and clear.

        Isn't it a good feeling when you see the paper in the morning, it says 'Axe Slayer Kills 19' and you say, "They can't pin that one on me!" - Jean Shepherd

        by razajac on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 11:50:51 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Thank you for writing this, Jon (20+ / 0-)

    I've been seething over Sarah Palin's remark all day, and could not write anything with the level of diplomacy as you've done.

    Sarah Palin, unable to add anything of substance to the national dialog, contents herself with throwing red meat to her base, inciting violence at home, and now abroad. She is a disgrace to her country, gender, and species. John McCain - whatever his past heroism - is a traitor in my eyes for placing this craven sociopath potentially one heartbeat away from the presidency.

    Tipped, recc'd, and tweeted to get this the attention it deserves.

    featuring haiku & political tweets in rhyme

    by cassandracarolina on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 01:47:42 PM PDT

    •  For all who are offended (7+ / 0-)

      by Palin's stupid comments, write to John McCain and demand that he step up, speak out and condemn her.  This stupid old fool owes the American people an unending apology for picking this idiotic, empty-headed and narcisstic woman as his running mate.

      For him to sit back and remain silent in this latest outrage of hers is simply unforgivable.

    •  what is more scary (3+ / 0-)

      Is that some Christians are condemning her words, but in condemning them they are showing why should very afraid not only of Palin, but a whole section of the Christian radical fringe.

      For instance, an article in Slate quoted the former associate of Huckabee Joe Carter:

      Like us, our enemies need to accept Jesus and to be baptized by water and the Spirit. That is the Christian way, not as Palin would have it, to have our enemies fear a pagan god and have their spirit broken by water.
      Clearly, this is not coming from the Christian Terrorist section that Palin advocates, but still is plenty scary. He is basically saying that until I match my theology to his, I am an enemy.  Not as extreme as Palin, but not comforting.  I certainly don't see every Christian as untrustworthy simply because they are superstitious irrational emotional people who could break at any moment and try to kill a church of children like so many have done in past.  I believe that through discussion and compromise, we can live together, even if we don't agree on every point.
    •  Amen (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      Without exaggeration, this was just about the worst thing I have ever heard an American politician say.  It is directly damaging to the United States. Conflating torture with baptism is frankly dangerous to Middle Eastern Christians in Syria right now, a population already under attack.  

      And I'm not even Christian.  But if Christianity is to mean anything at all, surely it must stand in opposition to torturing one's enemies, and surely reveling in the suffering of others cannot be consistent with any fair interpretation of scripture.  This is just blasphemous!  Can anyone, believer or not, reconcile this statement of hate with anything Jesus would have said or supported?

      I don't know what's worse... that Sarah Palin would say such a thing, or that a hall filled with alleged Christians would cheer her on..  That crowd needs to be told to their faces to either act like Christians or shut the fuck up forever about their morality and their religion.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:57:28 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  So good to see (7+ / 0-)

    . . .that others were as offended by her idiotic remarks as I was.

  •  She doubles down on her free dumb on facebook (11+ / 0-)
    Actions to stop terrorists who’d utterly annihilate America and delight in massacring our innocent children? Darn right I’d do whatever it takes to foil their murderous jihadist plots – including waterboarding. Whatever one thinks of my one-liner at the NRA rally about treating evil terrorists the way they deserve to be treated to prevent the death of innocent people, it’s utterly absurd for MSNBC to suggest that I could put our beloved troops in harm’s way, but we’ve come to expect the absurd from that failing network.
    "Baptising Terrorists" -  so it has become the Crusades Part 2? Great for Islamic extremist propaganda and not for once Republicker propaganda for Dumb Coms is in lock step.

    Anyway this isn't for real people it is for her rubes, the "real Americans" that pay her money. "Darn right I’d do whatever it takes to foil their murderous jihadist plots " is to hint at Palin running for President again. Got to keep Sarah Pac going.

  •  i was reading the article on this matter in (14+ / 0-)

    Crooks and Liars and one of the comments used, what I think may be the most accurate one word description of Palin I have run across.  "Deranged"

    There are just so many things wrong with Palin, mentally, emotionally, socially, religiously, that I think maybe deranged does a pretty good job as an all purpose descriptor.

  •  "If 'I' were in charge ..." (7+ / 0-)

    Well thankfully, you're not.

    How do you spell: B-A-T-S-H-I-T C-R-A-Z-Y?

  •  If she wants to see baptized terrorists... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, devis1, MaikeH

    she should visit any of her local KKK meetings.

    "Woe unto ye beetles of South America." -- Charles Darwin, about to sail on The Beagle, 1831

    by Katakana on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:41:43 PM PDT

  •  Jon, wtf is your point? The woman is clearly deran (0+ / 0-)

    ged, she doesn't make policy, and has no influence. Let it go.

    Those who quote Santayana are condemned to repeat him. Me

    by Mark B on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:48:22 PM PDT

    •  Do you remember (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      SGA, Ky DEM, AnnieR, Shawn87, MaikeH

      her stupid comments about getting someone in the cross sights and how Gabby Giffords was shot shortly thereafter by someone who thought Palin was the second coming? True, she is deranged, but she also has followers who think she is fucking wonderful.

    •  Dead wrong! (0+ / 0-)

      This is not something to "let go".  

      I am writing this comment from Lebanon.  If people follow US politics, they know that Sarah Palin is a major US politician.  They don't get the subtlety. They don't understand that most of us Americans think she is deranged.

      They see an American politician standing before a cheering crowd, comparing the torture of Muslims with the Christian rite of baptism.

      Do you think this reflects well on Americans?  Do you think this does any good at all for Christian communities at risk from al-Qaeda militants across the border in Syria?  

      This was a breathtakingly ignorant and hateful statement.  Americans around the world need to stand up, disavow what she said, and tell her to shut the fuck up.  That kind of speech gets people killed here.  It's grotesque, hateful, frankly hard to think of a worse thing someone could say.  This is not something to let slide.  Those hypocritical "Christians" who cheer her on should be told to their faces to shut the fuck up too, and that they are ignorant of their own religion and represent the absolute worst of America.

      “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

      by ivorybill on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:43:43 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Darn right I'd do whatever it takes... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    gratuitous, wasatch, happymisanthropy

    to foil their murderous jihadist plots".

    It seems that she fails to realize that she and her ilk are chomping at the bit to do terrible, evil things that don't foil  our enemies 'murderous, jihadist plots'.

    Maybe there really are times when one must fight fire with fire.  But all these people seem able to suggest is fighting fire with gasoline.

    They're looking for cheap and easy ways out and they react with scorn when it's suggested that they should stop and think a bit.

    The commenter above suggested the term 'deranged'.

    Yep, that sounds about right.

    •  "Whatever it takes" (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      So Sarah, does that include torturing a guy's wife in front of him so that he'll talk? No? Yes? How about slowly crushing his son's testicles in a vise? Don't get squeamish, Sarah; you said "whatever it takes." Don't you want to keep America safe?

      So, you're willing to turn on the juice for that poor woman strapped to the metal bed frame? You'd give the vise a turn or two while that boy is screaming? Because if you wouldn't, then maybe you don't really mean "whatever it takes." And America won't be safe with Sarah Palin at the helm! You gotta be ready to wade in up to your armpits to foil our enemies.

  •  She's a seriously disturbed individual (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, AnnieR

    And needs some serious psychiatric help. Too bad Reagan dismantled the very system that might've helped people like her.

    "Do you realize that fluoridation is the most monstrously conceived and dangerous Communist plot we have ever had to face?" - General Jack D. Ripper

    by wilder5121 on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:49:19 PM PDT

  •  she was the bride of limbaugh (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    she can be gotten rid of by fixing the radio.

    she's completely a talk radio/fox creation and feeds off years of  talk radio bullshit.

    the only reason she got close to the white house is that limbaugh told rove he wouldn't support mcaain unless the vp was ok- hence palin.

    This is a list of 76 universities for Rush Limbaugh that endorse global warming denial, racism, sexism, and GOP lies by broadcasting sports on over 170 Limbaugh radio stations.

    by certainot on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:50:02 PM PDT

  •  This argument will not resonate with Palin (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Undoubtedly she would simply say, "Well, they will just torture and kill American prisoners anyway, so waterboarding terrorists won't cause any more harm to our troops."

    Ignoring, of course, that torture and murder of western soldiers and civilians does NOT always happen whether captuerd by terrorists or anyone else.  Once you lose the moral highground you open a huge can of worms, and conveniently it's always someone else who will pay the price.

  •  If Palin (0+ / 0-)

    was ever subjected to real torment and abuse she seriously would not be a Republican at all.

    Psychological abuse is real and can actually be prevented. Being stalked by a sociopath. And I don't know what to do about it.

    by Krush on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 07:54:42 PM PDT

  •  It Was Either Jail Or The Military For Palin's Kid (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    wasatch, SGA, Ky DEM, peachcreek, MaikeH

    He vandalized a bus barn.  The judge he appeared before said he had a choice.....jail or the military.

    He served one round.  He was not a career military soldier.
    But Palin acted as if the entire theater depended on her kid.

    Waterboarding people is just the latest idiotic remark from Sarah.

    You first, lady.  And, then  Sean Hannity can go right after you.  

  •  What a moron! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ky DEM, happymisanthropy

    Squeeky Palin is the lowest form of humanity.  Weatherboarding is torture.  She freaks out if anyone says the word "retard" but cheerfully accepts all forms of torture,war,and ignorantly accuses our President of not being born in the United States.  Horrible excuse for a human.

    •  Thinking of (0+ / 0-)

      does she still have that "retarded" kid that she hauled around like a sack of potatoes when she was on the campaign trail?

      •  really? your gonna go after some offensive person (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        tobendaro, olegar

        by saying something offensive about her child? your kinda sawing off your own moral high ground legs. I've worked with the developmentally disabled and individuals with downs before and they were all unique individual people who happened to have a disability not just 'that "retarded kid".
        These individuals need not only our empathy and protection, but also some respect. It's not her sons fault that her biggest sin is that of self....she's a self promoting grifter.

  •  Lets not condemn Palin because of Palin... (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Krush, Verov, Shawn87, DSC on the Plateau

    The young man who served in the military is not his mother.

    He may in time turn out just as bad, or he might turn out much better.

    But please do not judge him or even entertain torturing him because his mother is so distasteful.

    Not everyone follows in the footsteps of their ancestors, or many here on this forum would be trading in slaves...

    Sometimes it can take a century for a family line to correct, and sometimes a single generation.

    I have bad actors in my family. Very bad actors, of a criminal sort. Does that condemn me? Its actually been a motivation for me to be a righteous person - long before I knew anything of politics and the various sides, I knew evil up close and personal and so learned good - learning that I wanted to never harm anyone and struggling to learn how I could instead help.

    Wait for this younger man to have actions of his own by which to judge him.

    Judging him by his kin - that's an outdated tribalistic concept that a people who proclaim freedom and rights for individual people should not be tempted into falling for.

    OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

    by Jyotai on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:13:09 PM PDT

    •  what if someone intentionally breaks you down (0+ / 0-)

      against your will?

      does that make you evil too?

      Psychological abuse is real and can actually be prevented. Being stalked by a sociopath. And I don't know what to do about it.

      by Krush on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:30:15 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Just to Be Clear... (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jyotai, AnnieR, NM Ray, MaikeH

      ...Track Palin has my respect and gratitude for wearing the uniform of the United States of America. I'm not going to question the motivation of anyone who answers the call, when so people (myself included) now do not and did not.

      This diary is not a judgment about Private Palin, but his mother.  In fact, the entire point is that I don't want him or any American serviceman or servicewomen to suffer the kind of torture inflicted in our name upon our enemies, all in spite of U.S. and international law. That's why I used language like "mercifully, he completed his tour safely and returned home" and "imagine the horror..."

      This diary isn't a wish for, but fear of, the hypothetical nightmare out troops could face as a result of the barbarism so casually endorsed by some Americans, including the woman who was almost Vice President of the United States of American.

      •  Ok (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Jon Perr

        Yes I get that point.

        I just fear people using guilt by association - it happens a lot. It is probably the only place where there is equivalency on both ends of the political spectrum.

        Often times the kin of radicals earn their own reasons to be scorned (witness the current fiasco with the daughter of Oklahoma's governor, as well as Liz Cheney).

        But just as often the apple not only falls far from the tree, it gets the freak away from the tree and / or comes back with a ax to cut that rotten thing down.

        (ok, bad analogy... to make the point that a despotic line's undoing can often come from within. A criminal justice professor I had in college put it like this; where he came from, you either joined the mob or because your kin were so bad - the police to stop them. He was a retired cop).

        I know this much for the younger Palin: he had a couple years away from the farm there. Lets hope that it put some sense in his head. Its probably not likely... But I want to hold on judging him until his family's fame put him into the spotlight on his own.

        OMG, like, gag them with a multi-colored spoon. Like, ya know.

        by Jyotai on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:21:33 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  This Vapid, Airheaded, Simpleton (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR, StillAmused

    Has more than milked her 15 minutes of fame.

  •  Second Civil War (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    What Sister Sarah believes (and her husband once practiced) is that there are 2 Americas.  One is the leftie, pinko, atheistic, sodomite, antigun, prohealthcare, pro government assistance for the needy Americans- vs. the real Americans.  The Bundy supporters are ready to "take America back" by force.  Another Democratic president in office, and they will lose it, insurrection will be the new national past time.  

    "The more firearms a man owns, the smaller his member"-- Abraham Lincoln

    by truthronin on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 08:23:01 PM PDT

    •  Real Americans? (0+ / 0-)

      Who?  The ones who milk the system for every dollar possible?  Because from where I'm sitting that's all she's ever done.  She's a taker and a user disguising herself (as her ilk will do) as a "real american."  I'm sick of their patriotic bs when all they preach is how much they hate this country and come to the defense of domestic terrorists like bundy.

      The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

      by AnnieR on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:23:58 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain will go to HELL (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    For foisting this intellectually defective "female" Frankenstein
    on our democracy.

    •  As someone said in the comments above (0+ / 0-)

      he owes us an apology.  We may never be able to come back from the hate this woman unleashed on us.

      The GOP will destroy anything they can't own.

      by AnnieR on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:25:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He owes us a resignation (0+ / 0-)

        He's well past any useful function for anyone and he ought to be ashamed of himself.  

        John McCain's legacy:

        Keating 5 scandal
        Sarah Palin.

        He once supported campaign finance reform, but he votes for Mitch McConnell as majority leader.  I don't think he has any actual accomplishment to his name.  

        He needs to resign in shame.

        “If the misery of the poor be caused not by the laws of nature, but by our institutions, great is our sin.” Charles Darwin

        by ivorybill on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 10:47:02 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  She is a sad case (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    AnnieR, Shawn87

    Even if she does think that waterboarding is justifiable (which it is completely, emphatically is not), it's still ridiculous and embarrassing for her to try to turn that subject matter into a comedic zinger.
    And then to mix in holy Christian rituals?
    A desperately sad case.

  •  She Hasn't Got the Sense (0+ / 0-)

    God gave to a goose. It's long past time for reporters to qualify their stories about her with some discussion of the fact that she's soooooooooo fucking stupid.

    Canada - where a pack of smokes is ten bucks and a heart transplant is free.

    by dpc on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:24:06 PM PDT

  •  Only way Palin makes sense is to look at it as (0+ / 0-)


    "There are many truths of which the full meaning cannot be realized until personal experience has brought it home." John Stuart Mill

    by kuvasz on Tue Apr 29, 2014 at 09:55:14 PM PDT

  •  Palin said, "If I was Charge!" aka President (0+ / 0-)
  •  If you don't already have (0+ / 0-)

    a hundred good reasons for despising the decomposing GOP... presented, for your consideration, the developmentally-arrested 2008 Republican candidate for Vice President of these here United States.

  •  Just out of curiosity, what's Track's real name? (0+ / 0-)
  •  The Evilness Of Her Is Starting To Show On The (0+ / 0-)

    outside more than her inside now.  When evil eats up your brain it will start showing in your looks too.

    "Don't Let Them Catch You With Your Eyes Closed"

    by rssrai on Wed Apr 30, 2014 at 05:11:35 AM PDT

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