Definition of a rhetorical question

October 9, 2007


“Let me know if you agree: Bush administration officials who claim the “harsh” interrogation techniques being used on terrorism suspects are not torture should have to undergo those same techniques. Personally. Repeatedly.” Link

Well, maybe not repeatedly. Let’s say…eight times? Twelve?


  1. Ooh, I like haggling… nine and half?

  2. Are you trying to insult me?! Me, with a poor dying grandmother?! Nine and a half?! Its worth at least ten! :)

    Not to make light of torture of anything, but how does the ‘head slapping’ method work I wonder? As crudely as I’d imagine?

    Swifts “Modest proposal” is here:
    Gulliver’s Travels (the big boys version):

    Same as it ever was, same as it ever was.

  3. Until they admit to being a terrorist.

  4. @wrongheaded heh, yeah, trial by water!

    I tried to post a whiles ago and it says “Your comment is awaiting moderation.” Yet this has not happened to any other comment I’ve made… are a random selection of posts moderated on wordpress or did I break a law posting links etc.? Just in case my monty python quote re;haggling isn’t picked up.

  5. I agree whole heartedly, and so does Ghandi (I checked). He’s willing to bend the “an eye for an eye makes the whole world blind” thing for a while.

  6. Graham

    Derek O’Connor here; you won’t remember me, but I used to give you your free comics from Forbidden Planet on Dawson Street when you used to review them for Hot Press; these days I’m writing for the Sunday Tribune Magazine, who were hoping you might be up for a interview/profile/big nasty chat type-thing… Would you be interested and available? Give us a shout when you have a minute.

    Hope all’s well…

  7. Jeremy, you’d have a point if the post was about revenge, but it’s not. It’s about recognising torture for what it is.

  8. I have to say, I disagree with the post’s presentation, if not the spirit of the comment.

    There is no excuse for any torture, even on the scum who regularly practice it. We know the American powers that be must be practicing it, so it’s specious to claim we would be simply making a point by saying that those powers that be should go through it, even if it does serve a purpose. It shouldn’t even be proposed in jest. It lowers us.


    Sorry for the sense of humour failure. I feel strongly about this.

  9. Fuckin hell! I’m glad someone does!

  10. Remember Jon Ronson’s piece about “funny torture”, where Iraqi prisoner’s were played that purple dinosaur song “I love you” until they were practically chewing their own ears off. The point is, if it’s a technique designed to upset or degrade a person until they volunteer information (usually false), it’s torture. It’s not a question of whether they suffer permanent physical scarring.

    And subjecting politicians to a bit of waterboarding wouldn’t really give them a sense of what they’ve been inflicting on guilty and innocent alike. If we wanted them to understand THAT, we’d need to subject them to indefinite detention without charge, so that they have no idea when the disgusting abuse is going to end. That’s what Bush has insitigated, and that is what the British government has effectively condoned.

    We shouldn’t torture the politicians responsible. We should prosecute them, give them a fair trial, convict the guilty and punish them to the full extent of the LAW.

  11. D.C…exactly, exactly, exactly.

    I have to say, though, it’s very obviously a hypothetical question (despite my frivolous assertion that it’s rhetorical), designed to promote exactly this kind of debate. Anyone thinking of writing and saying that they shouldn’t be tortured… you don’t need to.

    What saddens me, though, is that the question of whether they should be tortured or not, is seen by a large amount of people as being as ridiculous as asking whether they should be prosecuted for war crimes. Why? Because the rules that the rest of the world are expected to follow do do not apply to any superpower.

  12. So what you’re saying, Graham, is eight and a half times?

    Of course its something I take seriously and agree they should be tried according to the laws. Unfortunately, it seems that the rule-breakers are also the rule-makers. But I come to this site for a bit of fun so do excuse my jest.

  13. It’s not torture, it’s enhanced interrogation. But I agree with happymutt, nobody deserves that kind of treatment.

  14. Bullshit, Camille.


  15. Decapitation is just enhanced hairdressing.

    I *think* Camille was kidding though.

  16. Just for those that cannot picture the whole nastiness off this technique , I give you this

    This is from the very excellent Keith Olberman , so whilst still not nice to see , it’s not a real captured footage of waterboarding on a held person , but a demonstration , an enactment. Still , it gives me the shits thinking that the land of the free think this is ok.

  17. Oh, you know what? I was too tired to realise Camille was kidding. Sorry, Camille.

  18. Nevermind :D
    I was reffering to this Daily Show skit.

  19. “Oh, you know what? I was too tired to realise Camille was kidding. Sorry, Camille.”

    Was this one of those ‘count to ten’ situations?

  20. or perhaps those whose lives were saved by the information that was extracted during harsh interrogations should have to demonstrate some appreciation for 12 years!

    just a thought for the thankless

  21. …hey stupid – the bush administration didn’t fly planes into US buildings killing thousands.

    Maybe if you were close enough to see the smoke on 9/11/01 YOU wouldn’t be so careless originating posts like this.

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