Jesse Ventura's been making the rounds lately by taking on all comers on the issue of torture, which has left little quivering wingnuts like Joe Scarborough having to resort to attacking him out of his immediate presence.
Because as Brian Kilmeade of Fox and Friends found out this morning, doing so in person can be extremely unpleasant. Especially if you try pulling the lamestain right-wing crap we've gotten accustomed to, namely, accusing their interlocutors of not wanting to keep us safe, you're not patriotic enough, blah blah blah.
That's what Kilmeade tries pulling right off the bat, and it makes for possibly the best of the Ventura smackdowns yet:
Ventura: I have been waterboarded. It is torture. I can speak from experience. It was part of SERE training that I went through as a Navy SEAL.
Kilmeade: And are you OK now?
Ventura: I'm fine.
Kilmeade: So is Khalid Sheik Mohammed. He's about 60 pounds overweight, having a great time --
Ventura: It doesn't matter. If it was OK, then why don't we do it to criminals? Like, if we've got gang members in L.A., OK? We know that their gangs are gonna do bad things. When we arrest them, why don't we waterboard them so we can get information out of them? Because it's against the law.
Kilmeade: Do you want us not to be safe from attack?
Ventura: Don't come after me with that nonsense.
[Debate over its efficacy -- "ticking time bomb"]
Ventura: OK, why didn't we waterboard McVeigh and Nichols, then? There were more people that they thought involved at Oklahoma City. Why weren't they waterboarded to get more information? Because it's against the law.
Wait -- and if we're not going to be a country that goes by the rule of law when it's convenient or not convenient, then what do we stand for?
But what about the difference -- you bring up Timothy McVeigh and maybe gang members, and maybe those threats weren't as imminent as the threats --
Ventura: I don't think these threats are imminent.
You didn't think after 9/11, that America felt threats were imminent, that more could be coming?
Ventura: Maybe. But I think our behavior has caused us to be in more trouble. Now they won't release these photos. Why? Because they know the Muslim world will go irate. They're all after Nancy Pelosi -- when did she know? When dah dah dah -- Well, if we hadn't of tortured, it would be a dead issue, wouldn't it?
Let's go to the real issue: It's called torture.
Indeed: As we pointed out the other day, the fact that we find it necessary not to release these photos is proof that not only did torture not keep us safe, it made us manifestly less safe.
At this point, however, Kilmeade goes all-out Smug Right-Wing Punk on Ventura and finds himself confronting the reality that he's all for having someone else do his dirty work but Kilmeade himself -- of prime fighting age -- is too big of a spoiled, snotty rich kid to ever have to put himself on the line in a serious way. The resulting piledriver through the canvas is a sight to behold.
After all, it's easy to root for torture when you're not going to be one of the soldiers in the field who has to deal with the consequences. Right, Brian Kilmeade?