100 Days Presser: Flubbing Churchill

posted at 12:14 pm on April 30, 2009 by Ed Morrissey

Last night, Jake Tapper asked Barack Obama about enhanced interrogation techniques, and Obama firmly stated that he thinks waterboarding is torture — although he doesn’t apparently want to pursue the matter any further now after it blew up in his and Nancy Pelosi’s faces.  In support of that position, Obama quoted Winston Churchill to show that a national leader facing possible annihilation can take a strong stand against torture and prevail anyway:

Q: Thank you, Mr. President. You’ve said in the past that waterboarding, in your opinion, is torture. Torture is a violation of international law and the Geneva Conventions. Do you believe that the previous administration sanctioned torture?

OBAMA: What I’ve said — and I will repeat — is that waterboarding violates our ideals and our values. I do believe that it is torture. I don’t think that’s just my opinion; that’s the opinion of many who’ve examined the topic. And that’s why I put an end to these practices.

I am absolutely convinced it was the right thing to do, not because there might not have been information that was yielded by these various detainees who were subjected to this treatment, but because we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

And then the reason was that Churchill understood — you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes what’s — what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.

There are two things wrong with this anecdote.  First, Obama himself notoriously removed Churchill’s bust from the Oval Office, and it was widely reported that Obama resented Churchill for the treatment his grandfather received during the Mau-Mau uprising.  Specifically, he thinks Churchill ordered abusive treatment and torture of his grandfather and his cohorts, which is why I actually understood Obama’s rejection of the Churchill bust.  After all, I’d hardly keep a bust of Oliver Cromwell in my office, gift or not.

Suddenly, however, Churchill becomes the paragon of treatment of prisoners.  Except, of course, that he’s actually not.  Almost exactly three years ago, The Guardian got the government to release information about torture and murder in the British zone in Germany from 1945-1947, targeting primarily Communists:

The pictures show suspected communists who were tortured in an attempt to gather information about Soviet military intentions and intelligence methods at a time when some British officials were convinced that a third world war was only months away.

Others interrogated at the same prison, at Bad Nenndorf, near Hanover, included Nazis, prominent German industrialists of the Hitler era, and former members of the SS.

At least two men suspected of being communists were starved to death, at least one was beaten to death, others suffered serious illness or injuries, and many lost toes to frostbite.

The appalling treatment of the 372 men and 44 women who were interrogated at Bad Nenndorf between 1945 and 1947 are detailed in a report by a Scotland Yard detective, Inspector Tom Hayward. He had been called in by senior army officers to investigate the mistreatment of inmates, partly as a result of the evidence provided by these photographs.

Afterwards, the British took a remarkably relaxed attitude towards the people who ran Bad Nenndorf.  Only one got convicted of anything, a doctor whose punishment consisted entirely of a discharge from the Army.  The commander got reinstated and was given a transfer to MI-5 to work on national security.

Does anyone in the White House actually do research?

Update: Ben Smith has more, from earlier in the war.  What I find most amusing about this is that Churchill was a big proponent of reciprocity.  He bombed German population centers because Germans had no compunction about bombing Britain’s.  He also initially objected to the Nuremberg trials, preferring the traditional methods of drumhead courts-martial followed by first-class hangings.


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Comment pages: 1 2

Who needs research, barry already knows what the correct answer is supposed to be.

MarkTheGreat on April 30, 2009 at 12:18 PM

Why research when you’ve got a pretty good gut feeling about something. I think this administration actually uses Disney films for historical research.

Rogue Traveler on April 30, 2009 at 12:20 PM

Like everything else out of the CON MAN’s mouth – just words.

PaddyJ on April 30, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Research, he don’t need no stinkin’ research.

C’mon its the Obamessiah, his word is holy writ.

Mikefy on April 30, 2009 at 12:21 PM

Facts are meaningless. You can use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.

/Homer

Ferris on April 30, 2009 at 12:22 PM

Oh, Ed, if we had a media that did its job we wouldn’t be in the pickle we’re in.

Imagine if we had real journalists with media access to millions of Americans who did the honest, straightforward research and reporting of the truth as you do?

I can imagine it. I can.

bonnie_ on April 30, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Silence! Obama the Omnipotent will tell you what to think!

capitalist piglet on April 30, 2009 at 12:23 PM

Liberals do not need facts—-just feelings

LincolntheHun on April 30, 2009 at 12:24 PM

Churchill’s party lost the elections in 1945, so he wasn’t Prime Minister after July 1945. He became Prime Minister again in 1951.

zmdavid on April 30, 2009 at 12:24 PM

He’s so sassy!

JohnJ on April 30, 2009 at 12:24 PM

…we could have gotten this information in other ways, in ways that were consistent with our values, in ways that were consistent with who we are.

Let’s see….hmmmmm….I know, how about getting Ayers and friends to fire-bomb his family’s house?

littleguy on April 30, 2009 at 12:25 PM

Does anyone in the White House actually do research?

Oh…oh…I know…I know the answer! Wha…oh, it was a rhetorical question…never mind then!

Once again a stellar example of smart power not knowing shiite! can THE ONE get a refund on his Ivy league degree as he was obviously duped by his history revisionist professors!

Liberty or Death on April 30, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Bill O’Reilly was all over this last night, and promised to do a follow-up story on it tonight. He was a journalist in the UK for a year covering the IRA bombings, and he knows very well what Britain’s interrogation policies are.

rockmom on April 30, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Does anyone in the White House actually do research?

Sometimes, ask Joe the plumber.

the_nile on April 30, 2009 at 12:26 PM

Exit question answer;

NO. They know everything.

Griz on April 30, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Now that’s swagga.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2009 at 12:27 PM

Ed, research is inefficient use of one’s time. Much easier to just lie.

zeebeach on April 30, 2009 at 12:27 PM

The Precedent lives in a fantasy world that is totally divorced from reality. He knows what they taught him in Indonesia about the awful US and all of the nasty people the Americans are.

I don’t think The Precedent could even pass a normal high school history exam (from the time that I went to high school). I’m sure that his math skills aren’t past 9th grade level. He’s demonstrated that enough times to drive it home to any who think that he “has brains to spare for the job”.

The US will not be safe until the idiot messiah is tried for his treason, his intentional wrecking of our economy, and his trashing of our Constitution. (along with all of the lunatics in Congress who supported his idiocy, and the bulk of his cabinet of retards, misfits, and criminals).

BTW, maybe someone can ask The Precedent what the “football” is that is carried around with him and what it is used for.

We will not be safe until this junta is removed from power and tried for its many, many crimes.

progressoverpeace on April 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM

And here I thought we waterboarded so that we wouldn’t have to torture.

JohnJ on April 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Oh I don’t know. I suppose the complete and utter carpet bombing of Dresden, etc could be construed as torture…

I hear tell that Nazis after WWII were treated pretty crappily by the Allies. Then again, they deserved it…

mjk on April 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Another important point not stated is that these captures were uniformed war combatants (i.e., lawful combatants).

WashJeff on April 30, 2009 at 12:29 PM

When he has almost everyone telling him how great he is, giving him passes on his screw ups, and pandering to him, even knowing he’s full of crap…why bother? There’s enough dolts out there to buy what he says, even if they already had the facts in their heads.

That’s what happens when you drink the kool aid without adding the sugar.

capejasmine on April 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

To be fair Bad Nenndorf opened in June 45 and Churchill lost reelection in July 45. He may well not have had anything to do with the torture there. Just saying…

beancounter on April 30, 2009 at 12:30 PM

You don’t tug on superman’s cape!
You don’t spit into the wind!
You don’t pull the mask off that old lone ranger!
And you don’t mess around with slim!
Oh, and you don’t mess with Joe, either!
Got it?!

littleguy on April 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM

It’s not so much what he said as what he meant:
America bad-everyone else good(except Israel)

thomasaur on April 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM

If Bush had done this, he would have “LIED!!!!!!!!!!!”

capitalist piglet on April 30, 2009 at 12:33 PM

Liberals don’t like facts

youngO on April 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Let’s see…an egomaniac who turns a deaf ear to criticism, lies when caught in lies, is a power mad ‘leader’ who attempts to raise money by taking it out of common peoples pockets…
Gentlemen, that’s not ‘swagga’…that’s Swaggart.

Doug on April 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Research for this admin consists of reading the New York Times and believing every word..

eaglesdontflock on April 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

Who needs research, barry already knows what the correct answer is supposed to be.

MarkTheGreat on April 30, 2009 at 12:18 PM

A perfect answer…
It isn’t what happened that is important…it is what should have happened.
Did Dan Rather confirm that?
Doesn’t the NYT survive by that creed?

right2bright on April 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

He knows what they taught him in Indonesia about the awful US and all of the nasty people the Americans are.

Reinforced at Punahou, Occidental, Columbia, Harvard Law, Trinity, Hyde Park, DC, and everywhere else he’s ever lived and breathed. The man has been sucking in anti-American fumes his entire life.

Missy on April 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

But Obama didn’t mention the Cold War or the Mau Mau uprising. He mentioned 200 German prisoners held during the blitz on London. How were they treated? I assume he got THAT history correct.

Maybe Churchill treated the Germans well to protect the British prisoners in German custody, knowing that the German military was, for the most part (with significant exceptions), honorable and would reciprocate. However during the Cold War and the Mau Mau uprising, he had no such compunction, because he knew he was dealing with savages (Russians and Africans) that would mistreat British prisoners regardless.

So, how do our Muslim extremist friends treat our prisoners?

tommylotto on April 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

They don’t need to do research. They tell you what happened and what you need to know.

ThackerAgency on April 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

Is it 2012 yet?

Brian on April 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

it was widely reported that Obama resented Churchill for the treatment his grandfather received during the Mau-Mau uprising. Specifically, he thinks Churchill ordered abusive treatment and torture of his grandfather and his cohorts,

I’d change that sentence to say “Obama resented Churchill for the treatment his grandfather allegedly received during the Mau-Mau uprising.” As Baldilocks has pointed out, Obama’s Kenyan grandfather was not a member of the tribe that was punished in the uprising. Unless or until some proof is offered to substantiate the claims, the story of the abuse and torture of Obama’s grandfather probably should be taken with a grain of salt. We know Obama enjoys “embellishing” his life story for dramatic effect (e.g., the 1965 Selma march inspired his parents’ 1960 romance and Obama’s birth in 1961); perhaps it’s a trait Obama inherited.

AZCoyote on April 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

It’s all a theatrical production. Obama nearly called himself conservative at the presser too.

ThackerAgency on April 30, 2009 at 12:36 PM

it was widely reported that Obama resented Churchill for the treatment his grandfather received during the Mau-Mau uprising

It was? No one ever asked Obama if this was true, and other than Baldilocks, I don’t remember the story making many waves in the blogosphere.

I am still waiting for someone to ask Obama is this is the reason he sent the bust back, and also if it contributed to his seeming indifference to the UK in general.

Tman on April 30, 2009 at 12:37 PM

zmdavid on April 30, 2009 at 12:24 PM

My thoughts exactly. To paraphrase Steven Crowder, when you criticize someone for not doing research on the topic under discussion, do research on the topic under discussion.

calbear on April 30, 2009 at 12:38 PM

The obvious solution here is to rewrite the history books.

Daggett on April 30, 2009 at 12:38 PM

Research doesn’t apply here, it’s only for those who care about facts and truth.

infidel4life on April 30, 2009 at 12:38 PM

But…but…he doesn’t have to be right.
He’s got the swagga!

kingsjester on April 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

Let’s see…an egomaniac who turns a deaf ear to criticism, lies when caught in lies, is a power mad ‘leader’ who attempts to raise money by taking it out of common peoples pockets…
Gentlemen, that’s not ’swagga’…that’s Swaggart.

Doug on April 30, 2009 at 12:35 PM

You know, last night on O’reilly, he pointed out a very interesting opinion on Obama, and criticism. Obama isn’t used to being criticized. He’s never been criticized in his adult life. Everyone pandered to him, told him how great he is, and swooned no matter what he said, or did. So he’s not good at taking criticism. Which is why he says what he wants, without fear of repurcussion, and takes cheap shots, at American citizens, who just happen to not agree with his, or Congress’s policies, and spending.

He needs to grow up, but someone needs to let him. The overall picture I see, is Obama a needy, spoiled lil kid, and the press is the over bearing mother, that looks at their child (Obama) and thinks he can do no wrong.

Man up Obama. It’s time to grow up. This isn’t your peter pan moment.

capejasmine on April 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Did Obama lie again last night? did he say he didn’t want to be in the car business? did he announce chrysler bankruptcy just a few minutes ago? If he is their spkesman and CEO, he is in the car business.

seven on April 30, 2009 at 12:42 PM

Does anyone in the White House actually do research?

Ed, before you start accusing people of not doing research, you better make sure you have done you’re own.

You say that the British did torture under Churchill.

Suddenly, however, Churchill becomes the paragon of treatment of prisoners. Except, of course, that he’s actually not. Almost exactly three years ago, The Guardian got the government to release information about torture and murder in the British zone in Germany from 1945-1947, targeting primarily Communists:

But Bad Nenndorf opened in June ’45. Churchill was defeated in July ’45.

Now, Ed, do you have evidence that show Churchill ordered or was aware that “torture” was carried out. Do you have evidence that torture was carried out under his watch?

I’m gonna guess no.

Yet, you state as fact that torture occurred under Churchill.

The fact remains, Churchill did take a stand against torturing Nazi prisoners during the Blitz. Obama is correct on that.

But your claim that the English tortured under Churchill is highly dubious.

Learn some history yourself.

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Barack Obama, rewriting history one speech at a time.

Knucklehead on April 30, 2009 at 12:44 PM

I’m not certain which is the most repulsive and disgusting, Obama, or the cretins that elected him. What a mess they’ve made of this poor sick Republic.

rplat on April 30, 2009 at 12:44 PM

Hey, look over there,…swine flu, swine flu.

a capella on April 30, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Does anyone in the White House actually do research?

No, they are too busy being enchanting themselves.

nor on April 30, 2009 at 12:46 PM

Imagine, Churchill stating “Don’t torture that Nazi, we have to respect them”.

This is his famous “Chicken Speech”, probably the best export Canada has ever given us.
BTW, Churchill never used a teleprompter, and he wrote his own speeches…he employed NO speech writers.
However, he did, sometimes, refer to his notes.

right2bright on April 30, 2009 at 12:48 PM

The nature of the War on Terror (yes I said it) demands that it be fought in a different way than a conventional war.

Do lefties not see this?

BardMan on April 30, 2009 at 12:51 PM

While watching Prompterbama last night I was enchanted. Notice how he never looks directly at the American people when he speaks? I guess he is not comfortable taking his eyes off the TOTUS. He was looking just below the camera lens at his wide screen TOTUS. At least he wasn’t looking left.. looking right..looking left looking right!

I just got home from Disney World and after spending 4 days on the property I have an idea for the White House switchboard. Whenever they end a phone call they should say.. “Have a Magical Day!” Since this administration is full of magic and not very much substance.

Atlanta Media Guy on April 30, 2009 at 12:52 PM

“Does anyone in the White House actually do research?”
.
Oh, you mean intelligent, scholarly, objective research? Nah, they only talk to each other, read each other’s memos and the “journalism” of like-minded leftist “journalists”. (For those familiar with “1984″, the results are akin to “The chocolate ration has been increased to 25 grams per week.”)

DavePa on April 30, 2009 at 12:52 PM

CONMAN. The guy is a reeeeeally bad liar. If the election was reheld today, how many people wouldn’t vote for Obama now? President McCain? This gives me great hope for 2012 when Huckabee calls this liar out – on a national stage. No TOTUS during the debates, Barry.

marklmail on April 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

BTW, Churchill never used a teleprompter

True but all of his speeches that went out over BBC radio were done by an actor impersonating his voice.

aengus on April 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Excellent — something else we can blame on Clement Attlee!

Mr. D on April 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

For Obambi, RESEARCH= DISTRACTION.

poxoma on April 30, 2009 at 12:55 PM

I was a bit shocked to see a TV show demonstrate how the US Army would set up a field piece and shell a German town randomly thru the night as customary practice when a US soldier was assassinated. (This was a documentary based on the book Werwolves, chronicling the German post-war resistance.) It was not until 1949 that the Geneva Convention proscribed reprisals against civilian populations, so it was not even illegal.

While that seems a bit harsh to me, it is understandable and it makes a mockery of the Obama claim that such measures violate our ideals. Among our officer corps and our politicians as recently as WWII and later there was strong majority support for taking tough and even lethal action.

And that puts the whole issue in useful perspective. Will we allow a pendulum swing all the way in the other direction, that no lethal or even tough steps are to be taken at all? Seems wise to find a middle ground.

Even Obama marks the “torture” debate as phony. After all, has he not continued the Predator attacks in which suspected terrorists and any congregants, innocent or not, are obliterated with a missile without a single word of useful information being collected? Water up the nose seems tame and useful in comparison.

Chaz on April 30, 2009 at 12:59 PM

Somehow indiscriminate bombing of German cities are not considered “torture”.
“War Crimes” of WWII were almost entirely against Germans, Italians, Japenese…the only crimes against the U.S. and England were from testimony of the accused…the reason?
“WE WON”…

right2bright on April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Obama citing Churchill to justify a position is like Sarah Palin citing Bill Clinton for his moral virtue.

technopeasant on April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

you start taking shortcuts, over time, that corrodes what’s — what’s best in a people. It corrodes the character of a country.

Running for President of the United States of America wasn’t a shortcut, Barry?

Christien on April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

The London Cage (link):

Between 1940 and 1948 (both when Churchill was PM and after):

The London Cage was used partly as a torture centre, inside which large numbers of German officers and soldiers were subjected to systematic ill-treatment. In total 3,573 men passed through the Cage, and more than 1,000 were persuaded to give statements about war crimes. The brutality did not end with the war, moreover: a number of German civilians joined the servicemen who were interrogated there up to 1948.

The “Churchill wasn’t PM at the time” argument just fell apart.

SteveMG on April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

Do lefties not see this?

BardMan on April 30, 2009 at 12:51 PM

They won’t see it until it’s too late, and hundreds more American lives are taken on American soil.

Isn’t it amazing how short some peoples memories are?

Knucklehead on April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

The Guardian got the government to release information about torture and murder in the British zone in Germany from 1945-1947, targeting primarily Communists

surely just a few bad apples.

sesquipedalian on April 30, 2009 at 1:01 PM

HE won; get over it. I don’t think it’ fair to hold Obama to standards of consistency, logic or historical fact.

His fawning admirers certainly don’t.

The facts are what HE says they are …
and they change with the slightest breeze.

cruadin on April 30, 2009 at 1:03 PM

True but all of his speeches that went out over BBC radio were done by an actor impersonating his voice.

aengus on April 30, 2009 at 12:54 PM

What, that was a funny sarc, right?
That was a story put out by a guy named Shelley, later confirmed to be not true.
So you are one of the ones easily duped by propaganda…I always wondered where those stupid people are, and here is one right among us.

right2bright on April 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

If Obama wants to quote Winston Churchill, then Obama holds himself to every Churchill quote.

* When I am abroad, I always make it a rule never to criticise or attack the government of my own country. I make up for lost time when I come home.

* When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite.

* Withhold no sacrifice, begrudge no toil, seek no sordid gain, fear no foe, all will be well.

* You will make all kinds of mistakes; but as long as you are generous and true and also fierce you cannot hurt the world or even seriously distress her.

* When all was over, torture and cannibalism were the only two expedients that the civilized, scientific, Christian States had been able to deny themselves: and these were of doubtful utility.

Statist Socialism is not a Christian State.
Socialists have been referenced as cannibals.

maverick muse on April 30, 2009 at 1:05 PM

Regardless. WTH do we care what another country does or does not do when deciding how WE should handle our own National Security? He’s just setting more bricks in the road to subjecting us to international laws and standards. It’s clear he holds Great Britain in low regard, what possible reason could he have for citing that country for guidance when it comes to torture?

BrideOfRove on April 30, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Learn some history yourself.

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM

The “Churchill wasn’t PM at the time” argument just fell apart.

SteveMG on April 30, 2009 at 1:00 PM

I am sure Tom will apologize to Ed…don’t hold your breath.

right2bright on April 30, 2009 at 1:06 PM

Obama should not talk history. Why would the British torture captured agents during the Blitz? The British had radar and were better aware of real time German air dispositions than the Nazis were.

Of course 95% of the audience had no idea what he was talking about anyway.

When I was younger I used to think the sinews of our culture were strong. They are gossamer.

BL@KBIRD on April 30, 2009 at 1:10 PM

Ed has missed the point, but only slightly. Obama refers to an article he’s read, almost certainly this one by Andrew Sullivan. Sullivan bases his entire argument on the supposed deeds of Colonel Robin Stephens, a chief interrogator for the Brits during WW2. It is claimed that Stephens didn’t need to use torture to get the info he wanted. However, following the war (and yes, when Churchill was no longer Prime Minister) Stephens became the commanding officer of the prison in Germany at the centre of the Guardian torture story. Sullivan’s anti-torture hero turns out to be nothing of the sort. With the ticking bomb threat of war with the Soviets, even Colonel Stephens was prepared to use any and all methods necessary.

DDB on April 30, 2009 at 1:12 PM

But…but…he doesn’t have to be right.
He’s got the swagga!

kingsjester on April 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

It looks more like a strut to me.

Johan Klaus on April 30, 2009 at 1:13 PM

But…but…he doesn’t have to be right.
He’s got the swagga!

kingsjester on April 30, 2009 at 12:40 PM

It looks more like a strut to me.

Johan Klaus on April 30, 2009 at 1:14 PM

As I said on the long live thread, Obama does not like Churchill nor does he identify with him. He did take note, however, of the criticism about the bust return so chose to use Churchill in this manner to claim an alignment with that great man in a political play (and the bloggers will take up the baton from there) and to paint a picture of GWB as the one who is unChurchillian.

That’s it. Facts do not figure in this ploy at all. Something to keep it in mind when evaluating any Obama statements.

KittyLowrey on April 30, 2009 at 1:15 PM

I am sure Tom will apologize to Ed…don’t hold your breath.

What do I have to apologize for? I asked Ed for evidence he did not provide. He accused Obama of not researching when he obviously didn’t research himself.

Now, I will say that SteveMG did provide that evidence. I will admit I was unaware of it.

But, at the same time I’m not going say based on that article that Churchill ordered or endorsed torture. It certainly seems to have occurred under him, and most likely he knew about it.

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Facts are stubborn things..
-John Adams-

stlpatriot on April 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM

That’s what you get for getting your info from Andrew Sullivan.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2009 at 1:19 PM

But, at the same time I’m not going say based on that article that Churchill ordered or endorsed torture. It certainly seems to have occurred under him, and most likely he knew about it.

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 1:16 PM

Holy cognitive dissonance batman.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2009 at 1:20 PM

That’s what you get for getting your info from Andrew Sullivan.

I didn’t get my info from Sullivan (though I just did read that post). I saw the 1945-1947 dates and knew that Churchill was out of office sometime shortly after WWII ended.

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM

No, there is sloppiness in the White House that wouldn’t have been acceptable even in my former corporate culture. Look at the gaffe on the State Dept. site.

AnninCA on April 30, 2009 at 1:22 PM

Andrew Sullivan is a hack, and anyone using him as a source is a complete fool. He’s still insisting Palin’s baby isn’t her own.

AnninCA on April 30, 2009 at 1:23 PM

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 1:21 PM

As this statement becomes more and more ironic.

Learn some history yourself.

Tom_Shipley on April 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM

Geesh.

lorien1973 on April 30, 2009 at 1:23 PM

American Heritage

had Churchill not jailed the leaders of Congress in 1942, they seem unlikely to have successfully reversed decades of growing Muslim sentiment. There was indeed a long period during which Indian Muslims would have accepted a weak federal state, but Congress kept demanding a strong and centralized one. These were incompatible demands, and partition was the result.

Obama’s Ivy League education is the laughing stock of the educated.

Winston Churchill stood for his principles, and never fudged on those, come hell or high water.

1943 – Churchill and Roosevelt hold the Casablanca Conference on 14 January, declaring that they will accept nothing short of unconditional surrender from any of the Axis powers.

From 28 November to 1 December Churchill meets with Roosevelt and Soviet leader Joseph Stalin in Tehran, the capital of Iran. The three leaders discuss the details of their joint campaign against Hitler and reaffirm their joint policy of accepting nothing less than an unconditional surrender from Germany.

By the end of year, the Soviets have broken through the German siege of Leningrad (Saint Petersburg) and recaptured much of the Ukrainian Republic. By the end of 1944, the front has moved into Eastern Europe.

Meanwhile, in India the independence movement gains pace after Britain unilaterally declares India’s participation in the war on the side of the Allies. Churchill rejects the movement’s offer of military support in return for independence and jails its leaders. Thousands of the movement’s supporters are also jailed.

When a famine breaks out in Bengal in 1943 Churchill does little to provide food relief. Between one and two million Bengalis subsequently starve to death.

maverick muse on April 30, 2009 at 1:24 PM

http://www.moreorless.au.com/heroes/churchill.html

maverick muse on April 30, 2009 at 1:24 PM

I’m looking forward to enchanted interrogation techniques

tomg51 on April 30, 2009 at 1:25 PM

He knows the ignorant masses aren’t going to fact check. He knows the MSM won’t fact check. If called on it, they will ignore or blame it on Fox News and those evil right wing terrorists. It’s very simple.

behiker on April 30, 2009 at 1:27 PM

Churchill has his convictions, and acted on them without flinching.

maverick muse on April 30, 2009 at 1:28 PM

Obama was absent the day they taught History at Harvard?!

TN Mom on April 30, 2009 at 1:28 PM

DavePa on April 30, 2009 at 12:52 PM

mmmmm..

maverick muse on April 30, 2009 at 1:31 PM

The “Zero” is an absolute idiot. He has no knowledge of history. First, because Churchill “said” that they did not torture did not mean it did not go on. And second,Churchill also compared the Koran to Mein Kampf , think maybe that is partly why the idiot in chief/closet Muslim returned the bust[along with the stupid reasons that the press wants to discuss]. I am so sick of seeing his face and hearing his voice,,I could puke. I really am afraid that there will be blood in the streets in parts of this country before this “remaking” of America is completed and/or fails.

retiredeagle on April 30, 2009 at 1:33 PM

I was struck by an article that I was reading the other day talking about the fact that the British during World War II, when London was being bombed to smithereens, had 200 or so detainees. And Churchill said, “We don’t torture,” when the entire British — all of the British people were being subjected to unimaginable risk and threat.

1. Who wrote the article that TOTUS read?
A. Rham Emamuel
B. Big Bird
C. Perez Hilton

2. Did TOTUS really say “bombed to smithereens“?

TN Mom on April 30, 2009 at 1:33 PM

Does anyone in the White House actually do research?

Who needs research when you have Smart Power?

bluelightbrigade on April 30, 2009 at 1:36 PM

If truth be known about interrogation and the use of torture in democracies before WWII there probably was an inverse ratio between the willingness of the prisoner to talk and the urgency of the interrogator as expressed to him by his bosses to gain the required information ASAP.

In other words, if the info was not critical and the prisoner was forthcoming why resort to torture-do a third degree mixed in with threats and you’ll get what you want eventually.

If the prisoner is not forthcoming but the info is not critical the interrogators would probably stay with SOP but at some point in the future say hey, we have to start applying the screws to the prisoner and establish a deadline.

Then you have the situation where the prisoner is forthcoming with vital info but will not tell all he knows. First you try the third degree and threaten him with more brutal tactics and finally resort to torture to get the rest of the info.

Then you have the 4th scenario where the prisoner is NOT forthcoming at all but has vital info that could means the deaths of tens of thousands of your citizens. Sure you do the third degree and resort soon to threats but you will probably be told soon to put the screws to the prisoner-we cannot wait.

I guess what I am saying not all prisoners would be treated the same; some would be subject to torture immediately, some tortured sometime down the road and some not tortured at all. And this would be determined again by the willingness of the prisoner to talk and how vital his info was.

technopeasant on April 30, 2009 at 1:37 PM

100 days of shuckin’ and jivin’.

Have you had enough America?

omnipotent on April 30, 2009 at 1:38 PM

Barry didn’t take any history or economics courses while studying “Socialism 101″. All that ‘other stuff’ is covered in the primary course (real fast). “Capitalism is bad. History is a litany of the white man oppressing others.” See. Real fast. Now on to the glories and successes of socialism.

GarandFan on April 30, 2009 at 1:43 PM

Let’s put the whole torture/war thing in perspective. Since the beginning of recorded time, nations have attacked other nations and man has attacked his fellow man, and the end results have always been (ultimately) that the pussies lose.

What side do ya like being on?

Not exactly rocket science….

Tim Zank on April 30, 2009 at 1:46 PM

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