Rachel Watch: Secrets and Lies

Today: How the government went all Lord of the Flies, and how flies will be lording over us all.

Torture Testimony

Rachel started us off with the news that Senate testimony on torture began on Wednesday. Former FBI interrogator Ali Soufan testified that “enhanced interrogation” techniques are not effective and sure looked a whole lot like torture to him.

In other words, Soufan, who has experience and training in interrogation and was actually there, directly contradicted everything the torture cheerleaders have been shoveling at us.

I realize that this probably means that they’ll just shout and/or wheeze what they’ve been lying louder and with more interrupting. But I’m intrigued by the possibility that they’ll have to think of new lies if it becomes too clear that the first three (1. It wasn’t torture. 2. But even if it was, we had no other choice. 3. And it totally worked, so hooray!) are, in fact, huge, brazen, horrible, insupportable lies.

They’ll need a knot of interrelated lies like the last three so they can continue the tactic of using at least two at a time so that arguing against one part of the statement implies tacit acceptance of the other, so it’ll be tricky. But, as we’ve seen, these are can-do kinds of people.

I hope the new set of lies has something about tigers or space aliens. That’ll be exciting!

Former Bush State Department lawyer Philip Zelikow, former counselor to Condoleezza Rice, also testified Wednesday, and he joined Rachel to bring up even more questions than he answered.

Zelikow said that the torture program emerged from a climate of fear, and that somehow (HOW?) the idea that regular techniques weren’t enough became accepted as fact.

He also said that an astonishing number of high-level Bush administration officials and members of Congress from both parties knew about the torture program for years. So who else tried to stop it and why couldn’t they?

And if everyone from the President to the towel guy in the Congressional gym knew about it, couldn’t someone have given enough of a damn to arrange a leak? Were they worried about making those exhilarating 24 episodes seem to ouchy to enjoy?

One More Thing:

Dick Cheney, who may actually be medically unable to stop talking, said that any negotiations with Iran will fail unless they believe we’ll go to war with them.

Mr. Cheney, I’m pretty sure we have that covered. Do you really think that any country on Earth still believes we won’t just make up reasons to bomb the tar out of them whenever the mood strikes us?

If you could travel outside our borders without being arrested for war crimes, you’d notice that the residents of other nations tend to be out of breath when Americans drop in.

It’s because they’ve been frantically rushing around dropping rugs and throw pillows over any natural resources we might want.

Time Bomb Explodes

So speaking of those cool torturrific 24 episodes, Rachel pointed out that former Bush administration officials have really taken to the race-against-time argument as a way of explaining why they had to torture people, not that it was actually torture or anything.

Rachel welcomed terrorism consultant and former SERE school instructor Malcolm Nance to – one hopes – drive a stake through the heart of that argument.

Ms. Information

Brace yourselves: This is the segment of Wednesday’s news that was the most heartening, the least infuriating, and made the most sense.

And it involves zombie ants.

Texas A&M researchers, have you lost your minds?!

No, literally: Have the maggots already burrowed in there and eaten them up? Because if I were an evil, mind-controlling fly, this is just the sort of plot I’d hatch.

Scientists of Texas A&M, I beg you to heed the advice of my esteemed scientific mentor, Cassandra Patterson: If your research belongs in the first ten minutes of a horror movie, DO SOMETHING ELSE.

Until the project is fully shut down, I demand that you all wear buttons that say “I frogs” to prove your allegiance.

Keeping Bush’s Secrets

Gallant Obama had agreed to release CIA torture photos, but on Wednesday Goofus Obama decided he wanted takebacks.

Legal scholar Jonathan Turley, professor of Constitutional Law at George Washington University Law School, joined Rachel to explain that the implications of that may be even more troubling than you thought they were.

Kind of makes you nostalgic for the terrifying zombie ants, doesn’t it?


At least the mind-controlling fly overlords would provide an explanation for whatever the hell is going on with the Republican Party.

Michael Steele has come out as the voice of reason (!) against an RNC vote to “rebrand” the Democratic Party the “Democrat Socialist Party.” A retraction is expected in 10… 9… 8…

Rachel also reported that Republican Governors Mark Sanford of South Carolina and Rick Perry of Texas are having a conference call that they’re calling “Tea Party 2.0,” because nothing evokes rugged individualism like the phrase “tea party.”

Gentlemen, I hope there won’t be any unseemly crumpet fights this time.

I also hope that since this particular wing of the conservative movement has already forgotten that other people thought the tea parties were hilarious, they will also forget which word triggered all the giggling and start using it again.

Because nothing is balm to the soul and fodder for the inner twelve-year-old like getting to watch Rachel and Ana Marie Cox enjoy a good teabagging.

I’m so sorry. The flies made me type that.