Friday, June 17, 2005

Brian Sussman: Why don't you want to admit that Americans torture people?

After listening to two days of Brian Sussman's radio show on KSFO 560 (Hot Talk! Home of Michael Savage! Dr. Laura!) I finally got riled enough to write him. I'm sure that is just what he wanted but what is really upsetting is when people call up and AGREE with his outragous statements! That is what scares me. This former weatherman attempted to rile up the citizens of San Francisco by going after Dick Durbin's comments. Here is the letter I sent him.

Dear Brian:

I listened to your show yesterday and today and I'm glad that your show is just an act. I mean it has to be because I can't believe you were seriously focusing on what Dick Durbin was saying as if what he said was the real issue and not the systematic torture that Americans have been involved in under this President and the policies approved by the Justice Department.

By focusing on what Durbin said you are falling into the same trap that Rush Limbaugh did when he simply focused on the photos at Abu Ghraib. Clearly you think your listeners don't read and you are probably right. The real issue? That American soldier and our agents in other counties are torturing people to death. Maybe "extraordinary rendition" sounds nicer than "flying people to other countries to have them tortured to death".

I thought I heard you come out for torture the other day by playing the classification system game. Since it is all just an act just come out and say you think it is GREAT that we torture people. That should serve your purpose of upsetting the good people of San Francisco. Then when you go home to your daughter and she is horrified that her Daddy would approve of torturing people (who you don't KNOW are guilty) you can say, "Oh honey it's just an act. Daddy really doesn't approve of torturing innocent people." But maybe I'm wrong.

I really find this "sure we torture, but not as bad as those other guys" argument very lame.

Brian, here are two questions.

1) How many people do you think have died from abuse and torture in Abu Ghraib? None? Wrong.

"There were five cases of detainee deaths as a result of abuse by U.S. personnel during interrogations... There are 23 cases of detainee deaths still under investigation..."
--The Schlesinger Report, August 2004

We now know that the number is higher, but I never even hear about these 5 dead or the other 23. Only about the ones with "underwear on their head".

2) How many people were involved in the abuse and torture at Abu Ghraib? Seven? Wrong.

Based on the Taguba report, the Red Cross report and yes even the photographs themselves, clearly more than seven military police were involved.

"The new reports not only decisively prove what was long known, widening the circle of direct blame for what happened at Abu Ghraib to nearly fifty people, including military intelligence soldier and officers (although subsequent disclosures suggest that the number is at least twice that.)"
--Mark Danner, Torture and Truth America, Abu Ghraib, and the War on Terror. p. 27

I know you won't read my letter on the air because it has facts and no swear word you can bleep. Sorry about that. I'll try and help you churn up your audience with some other letter based on your next fake outrage.


Spocko (Not my real name.)
San Francisco (my real city)

-- Spocko.
Author of Spocko's Brain, the blog that is sweeping the nation. Now with 15 readers!

UPDATE: So Brian wrote me back! Cool. Good for him. Here is his note:

From: Brian Sussman
To: "Mr. spocko"
Date: Jun 17, 2005 8:04 PM
Subject: Re: Why don't you want to admit that Americans torture people?

no beating around the "Bush" on this one:torture of those who would like to kill us is okay by me. I've said it on the radio and will make sure I say it again loud and clear for misguided people like you.


So now I just need to point out that lots of people who are being tortured ARE NOT OUT TO KILL US!

I'm glad he is clear on this issue. I wonder if he is okay with torturing people who AREN'T trying to kill us? Okay Mr. Weatherman. How do we know if they are trying to kill us or not? Torture them?

Torture is wrong on so many levels and not always for the reasons obviously cited.
I'd write some more, but I have to stop the torture of some people whom I suspect want to kill Brian Sussman. (That is a joke: I'm not going to stop them.... Okay That was the joke, but I think Sussman is serious and it saddens me because he gives weathermen a bad name. Maybe all those years of getting blamed for the rainy weekend finally made him crack.)


Anonymous Shep said...

I wonder how many of those that have died or been seriously tortured at Gitmo or Abu Ghraib were convicted of any crime whatsoever. Zero, I believe. How many of those were even CHARGED with any crime whatsoever? Probably zero again. So the argument that these folks were all trying to kill us is a little weak...

7:47 AM  
Anonymous Jim said...

Zero is also the number of deaths at Gitmo. Zero is also the number of people tortured there.

7:45 AM  
Anonymous rasta said...

And I wonder how many relatives/tribal members of those tortured/disappeared are now pledged to kill Americans.
More photos are coming soon,children being raped and worse. The blow back is coming.

10:36 AM  
Blogger spocko said...

We don't know about deaths at Gitmo yet, but we do know that some have been released from both locations. Now of course the act of releasing people and not charging them of a crime COULD point to the fact that not EVERYONE in Gitmo was correctly rounded up and detained. Just another reason why torture should not be used. Might they have info? Maybe, but they also might have been turned into the Americans by a warlord who wanted the cash that was offered for bodies (Bounties ranged from $3,000 to $25,000, the detainees testified during military tribunals, according to transcripts the U.S. government gave The Associated Press to comply with a Freedom of Information lawsuit. Gitmo detainees sold to Americans -AP May 31, 2005

The chance of torturing someone who is not-guilty, based on them being arrested and detained, is clearly higher than zero.
Thanks for posting!

Jim: Excellent point! At this point in time we have no evidence that anyone has died in Gitmo. I'll do some research and put some info together to see if the reports from Gitmo detainees are meeting your definition of torture.
(and I realize that the definition of torture varies among some people) As you can see I'll try not to be overly broad here since I don't have that information from a verifiable source.)

So, you WIN! At this moment in time, based on the current info I have, you are CORRECT. I agree with your comment.

Now, note that my comment was about Abu Ghraib. You have changed the topic. This move often is one used by people to avoid admitting that the other person is correct. It is a face saving maneuver. "Oh yeah, but..."

I'm GLAD based on the info I have that no one has died at Gitmo. I'm GLAD that you don't think that the interrogation techniques at GIMTO amount to torture. That is a GOOD thing. It is also not the point of my post, but since you replied that way it must mean you accept my comments. Now you could of course use the same technique about Abut Ghraib "Yeah but... they were terrorists or there were only a handful of people involved..." but you didn't because you can't. They is evidence FROM THE ARMY'S OWN REPORTS that both of those arguments aren't correct.

Like Mr. Sussman, by focusing on Durbin or changing the topic we aren't addressing the issue. We are now torturing and killing people. Is that a good idea? Do we want to be this kind of country? Now some people ARE fine with this. I'm not and I think most Americans aren't either.

Thanks for posting!

1:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Savage has not been on KSFO for years. You lose credibility and believability when you make a mistake like that.

8:03 AM  
Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Dear "Spocko",

The next time you write Mr. Sussman, remind him that Jules Streicher - a journalist who agitated against German Jews and advocated for their elimination - was HUNG after being tried at Nuremberg for crimes against humanity. Perhaps that will cool Mr. Sussman's brutal ardor.

Oh, and you can mention that Streicher kicked and screamed his way to the scaffold, begging for his life. A coward in life, a coward in death.

Rob Anderson

5:27 PM  
Blogger Rob Anderson said...

Mr. "Spocko",

The next time you write to Mr. Sussman, remind him that Jules Streicher - owner and editor of a newspaper in Nazi Germany who advocated violence against German Jews - was HUNG after being tried at Nuremberg and convicted of crimes against humanity. This should cool Mr. Sussman's brutal ardor.

Oh, and you can mention that Streicher had to be dragged to the scaffold kicking and screaming, begging for his life. A cowardly bully in life, a plain coward in death.

Rob Anderson

5:32 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Spocko,

I am glad to see someone looking into media bias, this is a very important issue for all Americans, most of whom make decisions based upon what the media reports.

I will do whatever it takes to forward you movement, to educate, and present forums where-in liberals with an agenda realize that they are not seeing a "bad right" but rather a mirror in front of themselves. Welcome home! Bubbalistomaffragramma.

2:41 AM  

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