Sarah Palin and the torture debate? Red Meat for bloggers for sure! Sarah Palin at the NRA convention said about captured terrorists and interrogation:
“Oh, but you can’t offend them, can’t make them feel uncomfortable, not even a smidgen. Well, if I were in charge, they would know that waterboarding is how we baptize terrorists.”
The remark has received predictable criticism from the Left. Mark Shea, who is not a Leftist whatever else he is, chimes in with the usual quiet reason that has ever reflected his comments during the torture debate:
Well done also to Joe Carter for giving this vile filth no quarter. There is nothing left to discuss or negotiate. “Prolife” Christians who cheer for torture and, worse, cheer for sacrilegiously likening it to baptize have only one option: repent and seek forgiveness. Those who make excuses for it or refuse to repent ought to be as radioactive as Catholics for a Free Choice.
Here is a link to the Joe Carter post mentioned by Mark.
Father Z believes that the remark requires an apology.
Ed Peters who Father Z quotes is very condemnatory:
Open contempt for faith and things of religion is broadly associated with the left in America. I well recall pro-aborts smirking under a placard that claimed “If men could become pregnant abortion would be a sacrament.” Now Palin has given sociology professors an incontestable example of contempt for religion on the American right.
May my readers join me in offering a short Pater in reparation for both.
In the face of all this, Sarah Palin is unrepentant:
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. If you want to talk about what really harms our troops, let’s talk about politicians who gut our military’s budgets, or a president whose skewed budgetary priorities slash military benefits, or an administration that puts our vets on endless waiting lists for care that comes too late to help those who’ve paid the price for our freedom, or those who break bread with those who think it makes no difference how our military heroes died in Benghazi or anywhere else trying to protect America. Those actions are a heck of a lot more harmful than declaring an appropriate message our enemies should receive. If some overly sensitive wusses took offense, remember the First Amendment doesn’t give you a right not to be offended. Perhaps hypocritical folks who only want Freedom of Speech to apply to those who agree with their liberal agenda might want to consider that the evil terrorists who were the brunt of my one-liner would be the first to strip away ALL our rights if given the chance. That’s why we do whatever we can to prevent them from killing innocent people. And for that, we should NEVER apologize. Good Lord, critics… buck up or stay in the truck. And if you love freedom, thank our troops! Thank our vets! And thank those who have the brains to support them and the guts to defend what they have earned!
– Sarah Palin
My own thoughts?
1. It is astonishing that Palin can raise such emotion six years after a failed campaign for Veep! Most politicians are eminently forgettable characters, but Palin is quite the reverse.
2. Since waterboarding is physical torture I am against it as a matter of policy. I also would be eternally grateful to someone who did it and prevented Chicago, for example, going up in a nuclear blast.
3. The association of baptism and waterboarding I find distasteful. It was of course a throwaway red meat line to a receptive crowd and I doubt if Palin put much thought behind it. Is it blasphemous? I doubt if there was the necessary intent to blaspheme. Besides, who am I to judge? (I recall hearing that comment from someone recently, and the name is right on the tip of my tongue.)
Have at it in the comboxes!