New York Senator Greg Ball caused something of a stir last Friday when he suggested that Boston bombing suspect, Dzokhar Tsarnaev, should be tortured by authorities as they attempt to find out why he and his brother did what they are accused of doing. Given the United States’ official policy on torture, the comments were rebuked by just about everyone.
While appearing on Fox News today, rather than distancing himself from what he previously said, Sen. Ball doubled down. He told Gretchen Carlson that, unlike most, he isn’t full of crap, and thus stands by his desire to see authorities break the law for no real reason whatsoever.
“At the end of the day, I think a lot of politicians typically are, quite honestly, full of crap, they’re scared to say how they feel,” he said. “And I basically said what I believe a lot of red-blooded Americans felt. And it comes down to this: When you talk about terrorism, information matters. And if getting that information, including torture, would save one innocent life — including that we’ve seen children — you know, would you use torture? And I can tell you I would be first in line.”
Carlson, the beacon of truth and integrity that she is, correctly noted that prisoners captured in the U.S. (in theory) would not be tortured. Ball admitted that this was probably true, but insisted that torture was still the way to go.
“You know, I don’t’ know how many — if you look at Osama bin Laden — how many New Yorkers wouldn’t have appreciated at least 30 minutes in a room alone with Osama bin Laden,” he noted. “I know I would. It would have been me, Osama bin Laden and a baseball bat.”
He added: “It’s easy to debate this in ivory towers and editorial board meetings,” Ball said, “but America better use this as a wake up call and realize that they’re playing by a different set of rules.”
The problem with Ball’s commentary, of course, is that it's beyond stupid. If he is advocating for the illegal torture of a murder suspect because he thinks that is the only way to obtain relevant information – okay. It’s still illegal. It’s still wrong. But at least there is a shred of common sense behind the idea. What the Senator is advocating for, however, is torturing someone because it feels good. Not for critical information that can’t be obtained in any other manner, but rather because doing so serves as revenge for a crime that the man in question hasn’t been convicted of yet.
You can check out Sen. Ball’s senseless rambling and sad attempts to appeal to the fringe on the right in the video below.