« as i live vicariously through your playlist | Main | you people know too much about me »

1/11: Dumbest Statement of the Year Contest Officially Over

"Don't cheerleaders all over America form pyramids six to eight times a year. Is that torture?" Guy Womack, Graner's attorney, said in opening arguments to the 10-member U.S. military jury at the reservist's court-martial."


Listed below are links to weblogs that reference 1/11: Dumbest Statement of the Year Contest Officially Over:

» Breathtaking Stupidity from Cake Eater Chronicles
Wow. I didn't think it was possible to take the wind right out of me with a simple statement anymore. I guess I was wrong.... [Read More]

» LAW: Great Moments in Opening Statements from Baseball Crank
Michele has a doozy. Why lawyers use analogies that are this easy to distinguish is beyond me.... [Read More]

» Joe Biden Weighs in on Dumbest Statement of the Year Contest from Calblog
Michele recently assured us without reservation that the "Dumbest Statement of the Year Contest [is] Officially Over," citing a quote by Army Spc. Charles Graner's attorney in the opening arguments at Graner's courtmartial: "Don't cheerleaders all over... [Read More]


Ah, the old naked cheerleader pyramid defense! Works every time...for the prosecution.

Don't be too hasty! You have to remember that Ramsey Clark will be assisting in the defense of Saddam.

"Don't surgeons all over America amputate body parts six to eight times per year? Is that torture?"

He's going to get all 17 1/2 years at hard labor, the Dishonorable Discharge, and everything else the President of the Court can find to throw at him, if his lawyer keeps this up.


I'm with Faith on this one. Graner's JAG (or whatever) should get some of the hard labor too, just for that defense; friggin lameass.

Graner has a civilian lawyer (I'm tempted to add ", thank God!")

There are rumors that it was the lawyer who "leaked" the Abu Ghraib photos, after first threatening to do so if the charges against Graner were not dismissed.

OMG- what an understanding person....

OT here: Greg Hammonds, whose wife died of breast cancer, is holding a comment fundraiser with the monies raised to go to the National Breast Cancer Foundationís programs for education and low-cost or free mammograms for low-income women. For every comment made, he or one of the sponsors will donate $1. So, if you have time, go by and comment or even better, post a link to the site and get some traffic directed that way.

Oops- link here: Greg Hammonds.

Maybe we should put him in naked human pyramid. Hey, if it really isn't torture, he shouldn't mind doing it...

Are there high schools in America where the cheerleaders go naked? All my life I just haven't found the right schools then.

Dumb?!? That's downright brilliant! Er... wait, I'm confused.

FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - A lawyer for Charles Graner, accused ringleader in the Iraq prisoner abuse scandal, wore a "Hanes for Her" panty mask to the courtroom today and rolled around in his own excrement. After allowing the defendant to sodomize him with the judges gavel and electrocute his nipples, Graner's lawyer said, "Hell, I have to pay for this kind of stuff when I go to Vegas. Torture, Shmorture."

When he realized that his analogy didn't come out as planned, the following exchange occurred:

Womack: I move for a bad-court-thingy.
Judge: You mean a mistrial?
Womack: Yeah! That's why you're the judge and I'm the law-talkin' guy.
Judge: The lawyer.
Womack: Right.

I'll agree the level of abuse Midgard detailed went beyond anything that ought to be permitted by members of our military (with the exception of the riducle caused by the panty mask), but the media's definition of torture goes far beyond what most folk call tortute. This was all discussed right before Alberto Gonzalez has his hearing.

Being made to parade around naked, being made to pose in collar and lease, held by a woman, the whole pyramid scene, sleep depravation, standing on a box, etc. this is NOT torture. It is appropriate conduct for unregulated men who make war.

The breaking of bones, sodomy, electrocution, sitting in waste, the kinds of abuses Sen. McCain endured in capitivy, etc. this is torture.

Next thing you know, there will calls for the illegal combatants to have Johnny Cochran defending them.

... and as for the misconduct and incidents of torture that did occur, the UCMJ is working quite well to address those issues.

I actually always thought having cheerleaders do "spirit fingers" was pretty cruel.

Being made to parade around naked, being made to pose in collar and lease, held by a woman, the whole pyramid scene, sleep depravation, standing on a box, etc. this is NOT torture. It is appropriate conduct for unregulated men who make war.

It's despicable behavior, no matter what you call it. But to try and pretend it's anything other than torture is to put your blinders on.

This isn't about the torture. It's about the stupid statement. Keep on topic, kids - or die.

This man has watched far too much porn.

I wanna know what porn he's watching that has naked cheerleader pyramids in it.

Or what high school he went to.


People who fight in a war without following the globally accepted principles deserve none of those same principles in return.

Torture: Sen. McCain's treatment, sodomy, electrocution, and things along those lines.

NOT Torture: Forcing men to strip in front of women, to wear panties on their heads, to go days without sleep.

And again, I must point out: The Army began policing itself many months before those photos were leaked, so don't put blinders on and pretend there was a cover up. Further, UCMJ demonstrates it works, as the continuing Courts Martial demonstrate.

Do not dilute the cruelty of torture to the level of many of the misconducts that occurred in Abu Gharib.

Ah ... Michelle, but it IS about the torture.

If I am made to walk around with women's underpants on my head ... then I may certainly feel embarassed, but I have not been tortured. The EXACT POINT that this lawyer is making is this: You may not like it, it may make you feel uncomfortable that my client did this, it may even be wrong, but it ISN'T TORTURE.

Being made to roll around in my own excrement is surely gross; but it ain't torture.

Torture is hanging someone up on a meat hook and ripping their fingernails out one by one and never asking one question of them at all. THAT's torture.

What these soldiers did may have been against the rules, and I for one think it probably didn't advance the cause (whatever the cause was), but it wasn't torture.

And his laywer is not only right to say so; his lawyer is OBLIGATED to say so. Everyone, no matter what they are accused of, is entitled to a trial where the FACTS are argued. "Was this torture" is the CENTRAL overriding fact in dispute here.

There is no dispute as to WHAT occurred; but the NATURE of what occured. Someone's life is at stake; and his laywer is doing EXACTLY the right thing.


I'd also take issue with using Reuters as the source for your declaring a winner has been had.

You are making the assumption that what Reuters wrote is what was said, in all its context.

My reading (and much of the rest of the blogosphere's reading) of Reuters over the last few years has indicated that, if there is a way to spin a story to put the maximum bad light on anything the United States or George W. Bush does, Reuters is prepared to do it.

Slim, Reuters wasn't the only one that reported it - many news sources quoted the guy verbatim. Do a little research.


With all due respect, I think you may have missed the point. Let me restate it for clarity.

As a journalist for over 20 years, I am all too familiar with how news organizations can selectively pull a single quote out of a day's testimony and thus, make a lawyer look like an absolute fool. This happens ALL THE TIME and is a staple of "gotcha" journalism.

I have researched the quality of Reuters dispatches for most of my career; all should be taken with a large grain of salt. The same atmosphere which permeates CBS dilutes the quality of Reuters posts.

A man is on trial and facing a 17 1/2 year sentence. The defense his lawyer is mounting is that, whatever actions he took at Abu Graib may have been against regulations, may have been repugnant to you and me; but none of his actions constituted torture in even the broadest sense of the word.

By way of this, he offers analogy to demonstrate the silliness of the accusation.

For example: While in college during my pledge week, I was made to wear women's underpants on my head. Was I tortured? Cheerleaders do human pyramids all the time. Are they tortured? If one was forced to do it naked, have they been tortured? Is restraining a person with a leash torture? Is having a woman in the presence of a man pointing to his nakedness torture?

Hey, I'm with you. I don't think what happened there was particularly useful in advancing any cause we may have in that region. But ... should a daughter's father go to jail for 17 years for it?


Not to belabour the point (I really enjoy your blog and am interested in your thoughts on this). I took a moment to do some further research.

If you Google the terms "Abu Ghraib and torture" you will find 300,000 hits. The first hit is a BBC article headlined: "Abu Ghraib inmates recall torture"

IF you Google the terms "Abu Ghraib and WAS NOT TORTURE" you will find 1,250 hits.

You see, the media approaches this story from the premise that what went on at Abu Ghraib was IN ACTUAL FACT torture. There has never been, in my estimation, any serious journalistic debate on this point. And so, the stories you will see about these people defending themselves will be FULL OF quotes that make their defense look ridiculous - if that defense is "this wasn't torture."

The purpose is clear: The media do not want a serious discussion of whether what went on there was or was not torture, because they - virtually unanimously - already decided it was before they wrote their stories.

Dumb and dumber is more then the name of a movie its the name of what many in hollywood and washington D.C. have done i mean open mouth insert foot what else could you ask and many liberals have tasted the own toe jam and found out its rather unsial flavor

Reuters BS


Are electrodes on a man's balls torture?