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Saturday, May 26, 2018

Bluster, braggadocio, blowhards, oh my! The twin GOP debates that aired on Fox News Thursday were a buffet of bravado, casual misogyny, ignorance, xenophobia, leaps of illogic, flights of folly, and vaults of vacuousness, as the 17 candidates performed their strange dance of the damned in response to the clarion call of conservative crazies — “Be loud! Be angry! Be president!”

Welcome to “This Week In Crazy,” The National Memo’s weekly update on the loony behavior from the increasingly unhinged right wing. It’s our special GOP Debate Edition. Starting with number five:

5. Ben Carson

Republican 2016 U.S. presidential candidate Dr. Ben Carson answers a question at the first official Republican presidential candidates debate of the 2016 U.S. presidential campaign in Cleveland

So much for “do no harm.” Retired neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson is apparently cool with torture. What he isn’t cool with is talking about torture.

When asked during Thursday night’s primetime Republican presidential debate whether he would reinstate the practice of waterboarding Gitmo detainees, Carson said:

What we do in order to get the info that we need is our business. And I wouldn’t necessarily be broadcasting to everybody what we’re going to do…. We’ve gotten into this mindset of fighting politically correct wars. There is no such thing as a politically correct war.

For someone who has trumped up his talents as a doctor, citing his signature medical achievement of being the first surgeon to separate conjoined twins at the head (an accomplishment he mentioned in his closing debate remarks), it is especially appalling that Carson would even suggest that torture is acceptable

It makes one wonder how he may have responded had he been asked about the other methods of torture used against detainees by U.S. military and non-military personnel, as revealed in the Senate’s report on the CIA’s tactics:

“Dr. Carson, what about stress positions?”

“I know a great chiropractor.”

“Would you be willing to employ sleep-deprivation techniques?”

“If the United States is in danger, we don’t have time to worry if these people are getting enough sleep.”

“Rectal rehydration or feeding?”

“If the person won’t eat or drink, I mean, right? God gave us a brain — and an anus.”

Setting aside the horrifying moral ramifications, it has long been known that information extracted via torture is almost always unreliable, and the CIA’s torture program, according to the Senate, failed to produce valuable intelligence.

Next: Donald Trump