August 17, 2006

"I'm deranged down down down"

My online scuffle with Andrew Sullivan continues. He takes me on, by name this time, here, I respond here.

Update: He responds, I respond.

Posted by Karol at August 17, 2006 11:35 AM | TrackBack
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As a member of your club (those who are kicking ourselves for having once given money to Andrew Sullivan), let me tell you the day I got wise to his BS. It was when it became obvious that he was supporting that moronic, wooden John Kerry in the '04 election. He claims it was because the concluded that Kerry would fight a better war against the Islamofascists, a claim for which, of course, he presented no evidence other than his distaste for Cheney and Rumsfeld. In fact, as we all know, it was because Kerry's stated position on gay marriage was marginally closer to enlightenment than Bush's: they both said they were against it, but Kerry promised not to do anything in support of his supposed position. Sullivan's as phony as a fifteen cent piece, and I'm tired if reading others go on and on about his warped world view. I know, I know, he called you out directly, so you had to respond publicly. But don't make a habit of it, OK? He's boring.

Posted by: Jim O'Sullivan at August 17, 2006 12:10 PM

you are on effin' fire this week.

Posted by: brent j. at August 17, 2006 12:28 PM

The only thing that Randy Andy Sullivan cares about is Gay Marriage. He used to be an astute commentator (emphasis on the term "used to be").

Posted by: Grasshopper at August 17, 2006 12:45 PM

from The American Heritage Dictionary


ADJECTIVE: About to occur; impending: in imminent danger

I think when the terrorist plot gets to the "lets see if we can get this stuff on the plane without them noticing" stage... it's pretty imminent.

Posted by: ReaganConservative at August 17, 2006 12:46 PM

My little baby's all grows up....

::: snif :::

Posted by: Chad at August 17, 2006 01:19 PM

Ha. He was the first I gave money to also. Now, I just think he is a hysterical dandy with nothing to say.

Posted by: AL at August 17, 2006 01:37 PM

You go girl.

Don't take no s**t from nobody.

My definition of imminent would def. include trial run ticket money wiring stages.

I love a good Republican scuffle.

"You like immigrants"
"You don't torture enough"
"We're not spending enough on Iraq"
"We should invade _____ "

I was a Republican before I wasn't one.

Posted by: Dan the Democrat at August 17, 2006 02:14 PM

I read your post over at Hot Air, and followed it back over to here. I think that Sullivan's conception of imminence is based upon watching far too much '24' than is good for him.

If he wants to fight the Global War on Terrorism on the Jack Bauer model, where you have to wait for things to fall within a 24 hour time horizon, well, I'll just have to say "No, thank you", and leave things in the hands of the current administration.

They may not be perfect, but they aren't delusional...

Posted by: bugz at August 17, 2006 02:53 PM

Haha... You just smacked his bitch up. I love it.

Posted by: Chad at August 17, 2006 03:29 PM

Disagree with you about the use of torture; agree with the incoherence of Sullivan. The only thing he says that makes sense is about the inevitable slip into laxity over when torture is permissible. Doesn't even make the "protect our own captured soldiers" argument, which is IMHO a very strong one.

Posted by: Charles at August 17, 2006 03:44 PM

Sullivan has really lost it. Here's an excerpt from a "Quote of the day" post, but it sure is worth reading the whole thing:I have long wondered whether Cheney and Rumsfeld ever believed that their job was to build a new democracy in Iraq. Rumsfeld had dealt with and supported Saddam in the past; Cheney was extremely suspicious of occupying Iraq in 1990. One subversive theory - which I'm not endorsing, just airing [emphasis added] - is that both merely wanted to turn the Saddam regime to rubble, and then play along with neocon democracy supporters, while making sure that the military was never given enough resources to do nation-building.

Two thoughts:
Don't you just love that weasly "I'm not endorsing, just airing" schtick? How long is it going to be before Sullivan starts wandering around Provincetown in aluminum foil headgear?

Posted by: Mark Poling at August 17, 2006 04:12 PM


I think you should stop. Not because you're losing this debate with Excitable Andy. But because he's showing such a willingness to argue over what amounts to minutia.

What isn't up for debate is the fact that had this plan not been scuttled, we'd be roughly 24 hours into the mourning period of an untold number of innoncent victims on an unimaginable scale.

Posted by: Brandon at August 17, 2006 04:13 PM

Given that Andrews case for it not being imminent is the idea that it is only a dry run, can Andrew provide the proof that it was only a dry run and that the perpetrators weren't being duped. I could imagine telling them to go through the steps, but that the bombs won't explode. That the real run will take place later. Of course the 'dry run' turns out to have active explosives to make the guys doing the dry run not to have last minute reconsideration of Koran passages about virgins.

Of course you can't prove that it wasn't really a dry run. But then when you are talking about several thousand lives, different people may have different levels of 'imminent' and 'risk' that they would apply.

This all reminds me of a star trek episode where the two civilizations would pretend to attack one another and send people to die in disintegration chambers to match the deaths that would have come from the pretend attack. Perhaps we can have a deal that the left can apply for being the casualties for a terrorist attack everytime an attack is thwarted. This attack would have killed 4.500 say, so 4,500 liberals have to report for disintegration. Then they can live in a world where terrorist attacks would continue to occur because we don't take rational steps to prevent them and we can live in a world where terrorist attacks are stopped before they kill innocent civilians.

Posted by: yetanotherjohn at August 17, 2006 04:15 PM

Maybe Sullivan would get along better with this Carol

Posted by: Freecat at August 17, 2006 04:58 PM

Real world, real time scenario:

A woman boarding a regional plane in Huntington WV is found to be carrying a waterbottle that tests positive for explosive materials onto a flight. She is a native of Pakistan. Her ticket is one-way, with an apparent final destination of Detroit.

Bells going off for anyone just yet?

A screener noticed a bottle in a woman's carry-on bag as she prepared to board a flight to Charlotte, N.C., Booton said.

I'm not sure how to read that. Did the bottle show up in an X-ray? Did the screener just happen to just glance in her purse and see it? If the bottle got through the X-Ray without raising an alarm, that's a real problem.

But really that's a digression. This could of course be a false alarm, even though the contents failed both a chemical swab test and a bomb-sniffing-dog test. But if this is the real thing, we would be stupid to assume this bomber is the only one running. If this is an Al Queada (or derivative) operation, their main signature is multiple synchronized attacks.

Which means other bombers could be on planes right now.

Does anyone know anyone flying domestically today? And if you do, have your opinions on coercive interrogation changed?

God willing, this will turn out to be a false alarm. If its not, let's hope this woman is the only agent in action. And if she isn't the only actor, let's really pray that we can get information we right this minute need desperately without violating any of our oh-so-valuable ideals of decency.

Posted by: Mark Poling at August 17, 2006 05:30 PM

Regarding Andrewis criterium that an attack would have to be imminent before torture is justifiable: If an attack is thwarted, we'll never know exactly how imminent was the threat. We can only know in hindsight at what point in time the threat became so imminent, there would be no turning back. In other words, when we have that criterim met, it's too late and thousands have died. Pretty silly Andrew. We agreed to the Geneva Conventions at a time when we fought state-run entities who were also abiding by these rules. That is the only way it can work.

Good job on the fill-in, Michelle has big shoes to fill.

Posted by: mary at August 17, 2006 09:34 PM

Two things: One is, "I have yet to read anywhere, credible evidence that torture provides faulty information. Maybe Mr. Sullivan has sources who can't read or write, and therefore, aren't available for public review. If so he should help them etch their symbols on a rock and present that to the rest of us". The other, you really shouldn't argue with this guy. If anyone could recognize a dummy-run when they see one it would obviously be him.

Posted by: Kenneth at August 17, 2006 11:17 PM

The entire argument is premature. In the next couple of weeks we will either see that the terrorists had explosives and a way to get them on planes, and that the evidence gained from torture allerted us to the fact (point for the torturers) or that that information led us to premature arrests that will make it difficult to get convictions (point for Sullivan.)

Given that it's actually quite difficult to combine the binary components of a liquid explosive bomb on a plane, and there isn't evidence that they had passports and whatnot, I'm inclined to think Sullivan is right, and the torture screwed us up. You obviously are inclined to disagree, but time will tell for sure.

Posted by: Sam L. at August 17, 2006 11:51 PM

Not entirely on point, but I feel like one of the cool kids because I get your reference - in the title to your post - to the lyrics of "I'm Deranged" from David Bowie's record Outside, released, I think, in 1995.

A very good record, in my opinion, but the lyrics of that particular song are, like Sullivan, incoherent.

Posted by: Brian at August 18, 2006 01:50 AM

Yes, Brian! You're the first one to note it!


Posted by: Karol at August 18, 2006 02:13 AM

Scoreboard, baby!!!

Sullivan is in way over his head!

Posted by: W.C. Varones at August 18, 2006 03:09 AM

I agree that torture is necessary but, to make sure we get it right we should practice on Karol first.
Then we'll ask her...

Posted by: gregdn at August 18, 2006 07:45 AM

Sullivan is a pretentious, ignorant asshole.


Since when is Alan Dershowitz a conservative?

People support torture of terrorists because it is effective, and all of the ACLU bleating to the contrary-and what on earth do these paralegal parasites know about effective interrogation techniques-isn't going to convince rational people that it isn't.

Posted by: Gerard at August 18, 2006 10:45 AM


You're forgetting Andrew is a liberal. He's not going to argue with you on an intellectual level, he's trying to attack you personally by staying off the issue he raised and instead attempting to divert the argument to other things. Typical, though disappointing coming from someone I used to respect.

Posted by: Sammy's Boy at August 18, 2006 03:28 PM

Haha, an old-fashioned blog war. I love it.

Posted by: T. at August 18, 2006 06:31 PM

Man, this argument of "imminent" is deja vu all over again. This is the same lame argument they yanked on endlessly after the invasion of Iraq. To put it bluntly, arguing about the meaning of "imminent" is a waste of time. It cannot be defined and gives intellectually challenged writers like Andrew an excuse to write meaningless drivel.

Posted by: saintknowitall at August 23, 2006 04:47 PM
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