Friday, October 05, 2007

Secrecy, Classification, and Torture (and snickerdoodles)

I understand the need for secrecy in government action sometimes. I do. Operational security can often be one of the most critical places of strength.

The Bush administration claims that the legal opinions regarding what is, and isn't torture, what is and isn't allowed or constitutional or legal regarding treatment of prisoners are matters of operational security don't even stand up to a casual critical assault. Not even close.

They claim that these things need to remain classified because they do not want the enemy to know what methods of interrogation will be used to prevent them from developing countermeasures against them.

Bullshit. The prisoners and their commanders and comrades in the field already know exactly what will be done to them. Because You're doing it to them you dumbshit!

When my unit in Vietnam crossed the borders on classified operations to harrass and inhibit activity on the Ho Chi Minh trail, the NVA, the Cambodians, the Laotians, all knew what we were doing, because WE. WERE. DOING. IT. TO. THEM. If I shot an NVA Colonel with a sniper rifle, every troop in his command knew that there was an American with a great big fucking elephant gun up in the hills. They had a dead guy with a big ass gushing hole the size of a gatorade bottle through his chest to prove it.

It was a secret from my Mom. It was a secret from the American Press. It was a secret from you.

Bush and his partners in this particular crime are very interested in keeping this from you because they do not want to be in the position of having to defend their reprehensible actions and their casual depravity when it comes to matters of simple human decency.

As to the question of what is and is not torture I humbly suggest this. Bush, Cheney, and each lawyer that defended these tactics as humane and legal each submit themselves to one week under that kind of treatment. I did. I lasted a whole 35 agonizing minutes on the waterboard. I impressed the living shit out of my pretend "captors." They called it off, not because I broke, but because they didn't want to do permanent harm to me. I held out because I knew that they would, and must, play by those rules. That, and the fact that the last time they poured the water over my face I purposely inhaled and swallowed some, making me puke all over those cocksucking bastards. I promise you that if I were to ever encounter one of them on a street, or preferably a dark alley, mayhem would ensue, even today.

Now, fuck all this. I'm heading back to the kitchen. My neice is here visiting and we're making Snickerdoodles.


This post had not been up for fifteen minutes before there were two angry emails demanding the recipe for Snickerdoodles. OK.


1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup shortening
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons cream of tartar
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons white sugar
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 375°.

Cream together the butter, shortening and sugar. Mix in the rest of the ingredients except for the two tablespoons of sugar and the 2 teaspoons of the cinnamon. Spoon out the dough and roll into walnut sized balls. Roll those in the mixed sugar/cinnamon and place on an ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 7-8 minutes to get a crispy on the outside chewey on the inside cookie. Remove from cookie sheet immediately. Eat just as immediately.



Blogger Batocchio said...

Haha. The snickerdoodles washes out the taste of all the BS.

12:48 PM  
Blogger Melissa McEwan said...

This is totally random, I know, but I've called my nephew "Snickerdoodle" since he was a baby. He's now 12 years old, and he gives a good eyeroll when I say it, lol.

Which, naturally, makes me say it as often and embarrassingly as possible. :-)

1:06 PM  
Anonymous Constant Comment said...

At last! A recipe that you can do all in the same day. Yay. Actually, for some reason, Snickerdoodles remind me of Brownies or Girl Scouts. Maybe I made some to get a cooking badge or something...

As for the secrecy: I'm guessing, knowing the Bush Administration as I do, that it has as much to do with spying on their political enemies as it does terrorists (which to them, apparently, are one in the same). I also agree with you about letting some of them try out some of their "non-torture" techniques. Let's include Rush in that invitation, too...

1:21 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

oh my, snickerdoodles! brings back wonderful memories of xmas's when my daughter was little and our family gatherings were big.


i know your niece will have a ball.

2:20 PM  
Blogger rangeragainstwar said...


A continent apart, but we're on the same frequency at the same time, but not on the snickerdoodles.

As an aside, my stainless steel countertop came out perfectly. (Not that I shall be putting it through its paces, as I do not cook.)

10:19 PM  
Blogger The Minstrel Boy said...

this whole thing has my mind twisted all different directions. it is as vile an action by government as i can recall, and i've seen some pretty vile stuff out there in the shadows, fog, and the deep jungle. and yet, there seems to be this "ho hum, bizness as usual" attitude, i would expect some opposition, some "stop right there right now" some "oh no you don't bucko" but there's nothing.

there was also a beautiful 12 year old girl who wanted to make cookies. i decided to hang with her since everything else was making me nutz.

11:02 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

wise choice.

5:21 AM  
Blogger SB Gypsy said...

Failing to stand up against injustice proves complicity: They're all guilty to some degree. That's why the whole thing will be swept under the rug in the name of "bipartisan healing", and the empire will continue grinding the people under it's feet.

Clinging to Snickerdoodles in an insane world. Cherish every peacefilled moment.

7:09 AM  
Blogger seventh sister said...

doing something peaceful is usually the best thing to do. You showed wisdom in choosing to do so. You became the change you want to see, if only for an afternoon. There would be no war if everyone was busy baking cookies now would there?

I would always be skeptical of any "information" gained through torture. I have been in enough pain that I would have said anything I thought anyone wanted to hear just to make it stop and that was brought about by medical doctors with little or no imagination.

5:55 PM  
Anonymous amish451 said...

...bidness as usual...
The whole damned "we won " ..entitlement attitude of these creeps ...

6:43 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have been in enough pain that I would have said anything I thought anyone wanted to hear just to make it stop

And that is exactly why torture is completely useless as a tool for gaining reliable intelligence! As Orwell once said (in 1984), "The purpose of torture is torture."

- oddjob

1:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This post of Sully's is highly relevant to this thread.

- oddjob

5:20 PM  
Blogger Sherry said...

that was a great article. thanks.

5:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is highly relevant as well.

- oddjob

8:03 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I once mixed a batch of snickerdoodles completely from scratch, creaming the butter & sugar in a mixing bowl with a wooden spoon.

It's the one time I've baked completely from scratch, and doing that put a whole different understanding of baking in my mind! I have a hugely increased respect for all those who created loaves of bread from scratch! I just can't imagine what effort it must have taken to knead bread dough (plus make other dooughs, too) daily!!

- oddjob

10:57 AM  
Blogger the rev. said...

when in doubt, make cookies ( not war)

7:50 PM  

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