Philocrites : Scrapbook : July 2008 Archive

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Jack Bauer, America's leading interrogation policy intellectual

Quoted 07.31.08:

The most influential legal thinker in the development of modern American interrogation policy is not a behavioral psychologist, international lawyer or counterinsurgency expert. Reading both Jane Mayer's stunning "The Dark Side," and Philippe Sands's "Torture Team," it quickly becomes plain that the prime mover of American interrogation doctrine is none other than the star of Fox television's "24," Jack Bauer.

Dahlia Lithwick, Newsweek 8.4.08

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Defining outrage down

Quoted 07.15.08:

Outrage is supposed to be extreme anger about an extreme and dignity-damaging insult. It has instead become the quotidian autonomic emotional register of most species of political actors, including partisans, campaign operatives and pundits. Hence: what used to be normal is now considered extreme. . . .

Outrage is often phony; major campaigns contrive their outrage precisely for effect. (When I ask about these contrivances, I am told that they are "part of the game.") But outrage is often phony even if it seems real. Phony outrage is outrage for the sake of feeling outraged; it's a comfortable outrage, an outrage that serves to reinforce feelings of solidarity and get rid of feelings of dissonance. Outrage is a covering emotion, like its close cousin, self-righteousness. We love to be offended. We love to feel affronted.

Marc Ambinder, 7.15.08