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June 02, 2009

The Irony of President Obama’s Positions

ObamaPlannedParenthood Has anyone else noticed the blatant incongruity in President Obama’s positions when it comes to abortion and torture?

He believes it is fine for a woman to abort her unborn child for any reason and at anytime during the pregnancy. Even if the child initially survives an abortion attempt there should be no attempt to save that child and the doctors will not be held accountable. YET, he finds it totally unacceptable to use waterboarding on a terrorist who may know something about a possible attack on Americans, even if the information obtained could prevent that attack from happening and save many lives.

Irony #1: Abortion always causes the child to die while waterboarding never causes the terrorist to die.

Irony #2: Abortion tears the child’s body apart while waterboarding at most causes the terrorist to swallow water. Ronald Reagan said, “The abortionist who reassembles the arms and legs of a tiny baby to make sure all its parts have been torn from its mother's body can hardly doubt whether it is a human being.”

Irony #3: The government wants to go after those that have allowed waterboarding and have them prosecuted or disbarred while those that uphold abortion are given positions in President Obama’s administration.

Irony #4: President Obama calls waterboarding torture, abortion a choice.

Barack Obama condemns the use of torture but isn’t it time for him to recognize that abortion IS torture and condemn it as well?

Jesus said, “'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'" (Matthew 25:40)

(Image courtesy of LifeSiteNews)

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Ben W

This doesn't really make sense. Waterboarding doesn't kill anyone - so what? It's still torture. If it was done illegally, those responsible should be prosecuted. Something doesn't have to be murder to be wrong.

Steve (SBK)

The sense of it Ben, I think is that Dennis is pointing out the incongruity of who is being given protection. Something doesn't have to be illegal to be wrong either.

Rolley Haggard

Thank you, Dennis, a thousand times thank you for this excellent piece. May these hammer blows of well-articulated truth continue until the massif of this great evil collapses under its own outrageous disingenuity.

You know what your words put me in mind of Dennis? That worthy-of-Hollywood scene in Acts 23 where Paul, on trial, points out the irony of President Ananias’ actions with these words –

“Do you sit to try me according to the Law, and in violation of the Law order me to be struck?"

Bravo, Dennis! Bravo and Encore!

P.S. Ben W, I weep if you do not see the unspeakably great difference between waterboarding and abortion. The President abhors a hangnail but blithely condones butchery, and all you can say is "so what?"

Jason Taylor

Ben, are you prepared to have the law applied as strictly to liberals? If you recall a number are draft-dodgers. A few are terrorists like Mr Ayers. And quite a number are guilty of riot and disturbing the peace.

Dennis Babish

Steve is correct that my purpose was to point out Obama's incongruity between abortion and waterboarding.
However since you made the statement that waterboarding is torture, I have some questions for you:
Is waterboarding always torture?
Are you aware that Navy Seals are waterboarded as part of their training? Are we then torturing Americans? Attorney General Holder was asked if he thought we were torturing Navy Seals. His response was no. His reason was we aren't trying to hurt them so it isn't torture.
If the 3 terrorists were waterboarded in order to get information and not to harm them did we torture them?

Ben W

Rolley, my "so what" was regarding the morality of waterboarding, not abortion. I can fully appreciate the irony of Obama's position to those who see abortion as murder, but I think it's wrong to use that to diminish the immorality of waterboarding.

Jason, I believe that we are all subject to the law, from highest to lowest, with no exceptions for political party or economic class.

Ben W

Unless it's voluntary, waterboarding is always torture. Whether or not it "harms" them is moot, and we have plenty of ways to cause severe pain or suffering without physically harming the person.

If you really think waterboarding is just a little water up the nose, why don't you try it? It's pretty safe and easy to do (with a spotter for safety, of course). But both CIA officers and conservative talk show hosts who have tried it say that it's torture.

Jason Taylor

Indeed Ben? Then perhaps they should prosecute, draft-dodgers, rioters, and terrorists who have gone unprosecuted.

Jason Taylor

"If the 3 terrorists were waterboarded in order to get information and not to harm them did we torture them?"

Yes, Dennis. Getting information has always been one purpose of torture. And the essence of torture is the infliction of pain, not the infliction of permenant harm. The later is mutilation.


Ben, suppose the waterboarding was done legally - would you say that prosecution and/or disbarment shouldn't be pursued?

I.e., which is more important to you - legality, or morality?

Ben W

If it's done legally, I don't see how prosecution could be pursued.. but I'd work to see the law changed. Morality is more important, but generally lacks teeth without legality to back it up (in this day and age).

I can't say I've decided that all torture is immoral, but I don't trust our government to use it responsibly.. so as transparency and accountability have been lacking, I think it's extremely likely we've crossed the line. Not to mention the suspension of habeas corpus..

Jason Taylor

It is pretty obvious that liberals believe the law to be mandatory for their opponents and optional for themselves and their greatest heros are breakers of the law.

In any case habeus corpus does not apply to millitary prisoners and never has. The writers of the Constitution applied the customs of war to fighting, not laws designed for American citizens.

Jason Taylor

Ben, isn't the logical extension of the assumption that habeas corpus, which is a part of the constitution of the United States that the country from which terrorists come has successfully applied for statehood? After all you are saying that American law applies to foreigners. Why not say that Sharia applies to Americans?
Or is it that you are saying that the Constitution is universal and not simply a law of aparticular polity? On what grounds do you say that. What great philosopher discovered that habeas corpus applied to all mankind before the Constitution of the United States was written? The Constitution has a specific date, it is full of political compromises and peculiarities unique to the United States. Why not say that foreigners are obliged to have eight year term limits for their head of state?

jason taylor

Or should the US withdrawl recognition of the UK, Ben, because it has an established church and issues patents of nobility?


Jason, I think the issue is a little more complicated because the detainees that have been waterboarded haven't been tried. The issue isn't whether our laws apply to foreigners, but whether we can simply detain anyone who we think is a terrorist without formal evidence, and then torture them. It would be a different situation if we were at war with a specific country and could easily identify the combatants. Then, no, habius corpus would not be an issue. We don't know, however, if everyone we have been denying habius corpus to and torturing is even against us. That is, the public doesn't know this because no one was undergoing due process. So I think extreme caution in giving a government that has acted this questionably and with this much secrecy permission to waterboard is wise.


So, Ben and Sy, if you're upset over torture and the suspension of habeas corpus, shouldn't you be absolutely ballistic over murder and the avoidance of full medical disclosure to women who often end up sterile and/or emotionally scarred for life?

We're talking about a small number of foreign citizens who at worst suffered psychological damage, versus millions of American citizens who were viciously dismembered and discarded, and their mothers brutalized frequently without their full consent (and certainly without informed consent).

Rolley has it exactly right: going on a crusade against waterboarding and not going on a much more vigorous crusade against abortion is like being furious that a podiatrist trimmed one of your toenails too short and made it bleed, while shrugging off that the hospital amputated your other foot instead of treating it.

Jason Taylor

But there is equal importance in questioning whether it is wise to permit prosecution to become a weapon in political vendettas which the circumstances of the case bring one to wonder.

As for being at war with "A specific country", that is assuming both that the Treaty of Westphalia is universally valid and that all wars are fought like wars in Central Europe. Historically wars were not fought just between states. They were fought between anybody who could amass sufficient force. To assume, "a specific country" is required, assumes that countries have no right to suppress rebellion or even large scale banditry which assumptions make having a State at all useless. In any case the terrorists held are members of specific factions which regard thenselves as being at war with the United States. To declare that we cannot behave as if such factions are not in fact at war with the United States is saying that our right of self-defense is nullified simply because the enemy does not have a flag. Which in turn if taken seriously gives any potential enemy unusual advantages over us in return for doing no more then not being recognized.

It is absurd to say that factions that do not bear the responsibilities of being recognised as a country should be given greater priveleges then those who do. It is equally absurd that representatives of factions that are in a state of rebellion against allies of ours are in the same league with "ordinary decent criminals".

The Constitution is not a suicide pact and was not intended to be. Demanding that one regards members of an organization to strong to be suppressed by police and to unofficial to be considered the same as foreign countries as having de facto special priveleges is a form of legalism that in fact is more threating then the terrorists themselves.

Ben W

Jason, I think "suspension" is still the correct word to use, even if it was never a constitutional right for Iraqis. And yes, it's not illegal to hold/torture many non-Americans without a trial, but it's certainly immoral.

LQ, we invaded a country, which means we've killed thousands of people. Certainly not just caused some psychological damage (and even that can be no picnic). Let me turn your question around: if you're outraged by a lack of medical disclosure, shouldn't you be ballistic over the invasion of another country without cause, over the death of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and even more civilians?

I'd really rather not get into another abortion debate.. Suffice it to say that if we agreed on the morality of it, I'd be outraged by that as well. And of course I condemn any lack of full medical disclusure to women who get abortions.

Steve (SBK)

I agree with LeeQuod - that this comes around to our discussion on Kim's post (http://thepoint.breakpoint.org/2009/05/pictures-from-the-hubble-telescope.html ). That is, even IF all we've got is judging actions relative to each other... then let's be consistent! Abortion is worse than torture - in degree and damage done.


Ben W wrote: "Let me turn your question around: if you're outraged by a lack of medical disclosure"

I'm outraged that a friend of mine got an abortion as a college student, later got breast cancer, and will always wonder if A caused B.

And I'm outraged that the mainstream media covers the number of U.S. casualties in Iraq, such that everyone knows it's over 4,000 since the start of the war, yet none of the MSM carries the number of babies killed in abortions. (Hint: it's just under the number of casualties, and roughly the same as the number killed on 9/11. Difference is, that many abortions happen *every day*.)

So it's a bit more than mere medical disclosure that outrages me.

"I'd really rather not get into another abortion debate.. "

I can see why.

jason taylor

"if you're outraged by a lack of medical disclosure, shouldn't you be ballistic over the invasion of another country without cause, over the death of hundreds of thousands of soldiers and even more civilians? "

Most of the soldiers, as it happened ran, and the civilians were as it happens killed by the enemy in the hope that we would get the blame.

In any case I hold to the eccentric notion that the State killing foreigners for the sake of National Security is not as bad as a woman killing her child because she is to lazy to keep it.

Aimee B

Interesting to note that of all the detainees, only 3 were actually subjected to waterboarding -Khalid Sheikh Mohammed,Abu Zubaydah and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri - and all lived to tell about it. (http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2009/04/28/despite-reports-khalid-sheikh-mohammed-waterboarded-times/)

Number of abortions done today:
in US - 3,700
worldwide - 115,000
- all died before they were able to speak.


So I think there was much confusion over what I said above. Just to clarify, Lee, I am quite frustrated (can't say I've ever been in a state I would refer to as bolistic) about abortion, more so than waterboarding. I agree that the degree of difference between the two means that abortion should be a greater concern for those who profess to be pro-life than our use of torture. I don't think I said anything to the contrary. If I did, my mistake.
Jason, your acertion that abortion is undergone by mothers who are lazy seems highly unlikely. Sure, there are probably some cases where a child is simply unwanted because it is inconvenient, but it's usually to do with lack of resources. Abortions are overwhelmingly undergone by those in the lower income brackets because the perception is that they can't afford a child. Just more reason to spread the gospel that God does everything he can to take care of and provide for us if you ask me, especially since studies have recently come out showing that Evangelicals are amung the least likely to get abortions, regardless of social class.
On your other point about enemy factions, the issue isn't who we go to war with or declare to be warring factions. It's that we don't even know if the detainees we are torturing are enemies because we haven't put them on trial. I only brought up the difference between war with other nations and war with the group we call terrorists to make a comparison. It would be fair to detain without trial those who fought against us wearing the uniform of another nation's army simply because they would be easily identified. But those we detained in Guantanamo often haven't been confirmed as enemies.

jason taylor

Lack of resources? You mean the resources more then nine-tenths of your ancestors did without. Surely you don't mean that a child does not get to live if he can't live better then a Medieval prince lived?

jason taylor

And Sy, fighting without a uniform is not supposed to be what gives you immunity from capture. It is supposed to be what gets you hanged when you are captured.

jason taylor

Sy the reason soldiers have uniforms is so that there won't be a provocation that will endanger civilians. If they cannot afford uniforms they can afford armbands. Making an interpretation of the customs of war that makes it more advantageous to refrain from wearing uniforms also threatens civilians.

And as far as "innocence" goes, in wartime the word is interpreted by customs of war, not by justice. An enemy soldier is a servant of his state, not always fighting of his own volition and so is "innocent" in the normal sense. Whereas a terrorist is there of his own volition, does not obey an organization that is willing to take conventional responsibilities, and does not have any respect for the customs of war. Most of the captives there were captured while they were at least obviously taking part in belligerant activities. If you like you might suggest separating those who were simply arrested from those who were actually taken in battle. But in the meantime unless you can plausibly argue that a larger proportion were captured by mistake, then there would have been civilians accidently killed by artillery in a conventional war(because the anology is quite apt), you are effectively advocating the encouragement of people to fight without uniforms. Which not only is a demand that the state willingly make itself helpless, but is an encouragement of future atrocities.


I suppose it's fair to point out how well-off we are in this age as compared to the past when it comes to people who perceive themselves to be poor. A little cold maybe, but fair, especially given global extreme poverty which we see none of in this country. But the fact remains that abortions are overwhelmingly undergone by those in the lower income brackets. The problem is the perception of poverty, as I said above, not actual poverty. Again, the solution to me seems to be preach the gospel to them, not dismiss them as lazy. This is a drastic oversimplification of the complexities of this issue, but this will do for now.
As for the uniform thing, again, my only point was that because these are no trditiona enemies, it seems like some sort of due process should be put in place to identify them as enemies for certain. As for those fighting American soldiers who were captured, again, may not be Taliban operatives at all. I don't really have the energy to go into it, but the geo-political climate of Afghanistan is such that there is consistant warring amung rival groups, and well-deserved anti-American feelings amung most of them (America propped up the Taliban, then tore them down, then installed a government that has failed to improve the country in any significant way or controll the warring factions in the southern provinces). So, fighting American soldiers does not equal the enemy we claim to be fighting (terrorists), but could merely be people in uncertain situations reacting to an unwelcome occupying army. Thus, more discernment is necessary. Waterboarding should be avoided. Anyway, those are my thoughts. Anyone can continue to comment, but I can't anymore because we do have to admit at some point that we're really not experts here. Just some people talking. Good thread though.

Jason Taylor

Thank you for your good sportsmanship Sy and I hope I didn't sound too heated.


Re abortion---Lots of college women undergo abortion. Of course they probably all will have adequate jobs later...but are poor for now.

What I will say to my adopted son will be---(in part) YOU are also RESPONSIBLE>

It is not just a woman and child thing biologically tho DAD may be unknown or not told.

But why do I RARELY hear anyone charge males with responsible behavior?

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