Today’s Quotes: Defending the Indefensible

“That’s what the conservative media consists of: partisans offering inconsistent, insincere, and nonsensical arguments on behalf of torture and the depraved thugs who authorized it.”
— Jamison Foser, “Gaps in the Right’s ‘Banana Republic’ Rhetoric,” Media Matters, April 24, 2009.

“The main threat to Democracy comes not from the extreme left but from the extreme right, which is able to buy huge sections of the press and radio, and wages a constant campaign to smear and discredit every progressive and humanitarian measure.”
— George Seldes, more than 60 years ago.

“These companies, not the lunatic Nazi fanatics, are the main war criminals. If the guilt of these criminals is not brought to daylight and if they are not punished, they will pose a much greater threat to the future peace of the world than Hitler if he were still alive.”
— Telford Taylor, Chief US Prosecutor, 1947 Nuremberg War Trial, referring to the corporations who supported the Nazi regime in Germany.

“Merchants have no country. The mere spot they stand on does not constitute so strong an attachment as that from which they draw their gains.”
— Thomas Jefferson, letter to Horatio Gates Spafford, March 17, 1817, cited in Papers 14:221.

“Next the statesmen will invent cheap lies, putting the blame upon the nation that is attacked, and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities, and will diligently study them, and refuse to examine any refutations of them; and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just, and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.”
— Mark Twain, “The Mysterious Stranger.”

“Take your pick: Either the Bush White House was in a panic after 9/11 and naively thought torture would work, which makes them rank amateurs in the intelligence game too incompetent to run the country; or they were trying to use torture to enhance the case for invading Iraq and expanding their powers, which makes them fascists. There aren’t really any other alternatives to explain why this torture took place.”
— Boris the Retired Agent