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One of the major breakthroughs of the first McCain–Obama debate on Friday night passed with almost no notice. Both John McCain and Barack Obama, in characterizing their opposition to the Bush Administration’s interrogation program, called it torture. To those who have tracked this question with any care, there is no doubt whatsoever that the Bush Administration pursued torture as a matter of policy. However, ferocious blowback from the administration has up to this point intimidated the American media from calling things by proper names. As the Bush Administration now enters into its final meltdown, the perfect time has come to examine the moral corruption that has long festered right under the surface of what passes for national security policy.
On Monday evening at 9 p.m. (ET/PT), 8 p.m. (CT), HBO premiers this year’s Oscar-winning documentary, “Taxi to the Dark Side,” in which I appear. Don’t miss it. Here’s a recent interview of producer Alex Gibney with MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow in which Alex explains why the issues treated in “Taxi” are current and will only grow in relevance in the coming months:
More from Scott Horton:
Six Questions — October 18, 2014, 8:00 pm
Nathaniel Raymond on CIA interrogation techniques.
I recently spent a semester teaching writing at an elite liberal-arts college. At strategic points around the campus, in shades of yellow and green, banners displayed the following pair of texts. The first was attributed to the college’s founder, which dates it to the 1920s. The second was extracted from the latest version of the institution’s mission statement:
The paramount obligation of a college is to develop in its students the ability to think clearly and independently, and the ability to live confidently, courageously, and hopefully.
Let us take a moment to compare these texts. The first thing to observe about the older one is that it is a sentence. It expresses an idea by placing concepts in relation to one another within the kind of structure that we call a syntax. It is, moreover, highly wrought: a parallel structure underscored by repetition, five adverbs balanced two against three.
Percentage of Britons who cannot name the city that provides the setting for the musical Chicago:
An Australian entrepreneur was selling oysters raised in tanks laced with Viagra.
A naked man believed to be under the influence of LSD rammed his pickup truck into two police cars.
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“Shelby is waiting for something. He himself does not know what it is. When it comes he will either go back into the world from which he came, or sink out of sight in the morass of alcoholism or despair that has engulfed other vagrants.”