RachelWatch: Revolutionary Geeks

Today: Richard Engel, geeking for good and evil, and naked cyclists.

“I Make up Stories”

Rachel led off with breaking news about the moderately less redacted transcripts from our bold and innovative torture program.

The new scraps of information indicate that the torture apologists who have been claiming that waterboarding people was a fun, easy, and totally moral way to keep people safe are wrong.

“Wrong” is, of course, a best-case scenario. There’s always the possibility that at least some of them adopted the sanctimonious all-to-save-lives pose while knowingly lying. Infernal spokesperson Mike Beelzebub described himself as “jazzed.”

Rachel seemed to think that proof that Khalid Sheikh Mohammed didn’t actually give out any good information under torture would stop the torture cheerleaders from claiming that torture protected people, which I find charmingly naïve.

I am looking forward to seeing the new spin they’ll put on this, but there’s no way in hell they’re going to drop that argument. Because when has the screaming-demonstrably-wrong-things-until-the-demonstrably-wrong-things-start-getting-reported-as-possible-facts strategy ever failed?

Maybe they’ll claim that the torture made Mohammed psychically broadcast good information even as he was saying whatever his interrogators seemed to want to hear. Or that his facial contortions created a map of Osama bin Laden’s hiding place. Or that bad information undergoes molecular changes and becomes good when you get it wet.

But rest assured, this argument is not going to die.

“Where Is My Vote?”

As you heard if you were on the internets instead of trying to get your news from television this weekend, everything about Iran’s election went smoothly until right after officials announced the suspiciously speedy results.

Fawaz Gerges, Middle East analyst and author of Journey of the Jihadist, joined Rachel to deliver some interesting and welcome perspective.


Rachel noted that cable news wasn’t the way to get news on Iran this weekend unless you desperately wanted to know what professional mosquitoes Heidi and Spencer thought about it.

Richard Engel of NBC News dropped by to discuss how the revolution skipped being televised and went straight to Twitter.

Ms. Information

Rachel reported that Jose Padilla, an American citizen accused of being an enemy combatant, is suing former DOJ lawyer John Yoo (for $1 and an admission of illegality) as an architect of the torture program.

Yoo thought that, as someone working for the Bush administration, he should be (surprise!) immune from being sued. Apparently he should have been a little more vigilant about the vitamin C, because the judge just diagnosed Yoo with a case of GetYourMemoWritingButtInHere-itis.

Rachel also gave us the news that Adam Gadahn, also known as Azzam the American, revealed his Jewish ancestry in his latest video for Al-Qaeda.

Rachel, an obvious and vocal fan of dorkery and geekhood channeled for good, did the socially responsible thing and pointed out that Gadahn is a case of a dweeb gone bad.

If only he’d found a good D&D game.

“Fierce Advocate”

Rachel, using her scary movie/racetrack announcer voice, reported that the Obama administration has not only defended the Defense of Marriage Act, it has done so in terms that probably warmed the cockles of the frozen ball of rat dung that serves as Fred Phelps’s heart.

Dr. Howard Dean joined Rachel to talk some sense and make you wonder why the media had to screw him over so badly back in 2004. If he’ll continue to be a stand-up guy, he can scream all he wants as far as I’m concerned.

I could almost buy it if the Obama administration said that too many situations are on crisis and The Gays just have to wait for a while (again), but why the awful language?

If, as Dean suggests, Obama didn’t know what was in the brief, where is the reaction? When a publicist grabbed Air Force One and scared thousands of people in New York, Obama was visibly, publicly pissed, called for an investigation, and accepted a resignation within a couple of weeks.

Thousands of people have been maligned. Where is the anger? Where is the investigation? Where is the tiniest acknowledgment that this is exactly the opposite of what the overwhelming numbers of people in the LGBT community who voted for him were led to believe he’d do?

President Obama, you’ve been a little bit tone-deaf when it comes to your LGBT allies, so please allow me to explain something to you: If you are going to try to make some sort of sweeping gesture to square this, it’s going to have to be a big one.

Upholding the Constitution and restoring full civil rights will only be a start. It won’t even really get you back to zero. And taking a leadership role on repealing Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell only puts you in the “It’s about time” category.

Sir, take my advice: June is not over. Participate in a Pride parade while there is still time.

If you’re smart, a Speedo and body paint will be involved.

Just Enough

Kent lightened the mood with some investigative reporting on the World Naked Bike Ride. No, you are not above watching this clip. Neither am I. Let’s stop pretending.

The clip is worth it for the telling second-to-last line in Kent’s footage and for Rachel’s dissolution into helpless laughter.