As my colleague Ken Silverstein pointed out, Joe Lieberman made a joke about waterboarding at last night’s Alfalfa Club Dinner. This is an excellent example of “humor” revealing the mindset of the man who utters it. As Thinkprogress reminds us, Lieberman is linked to Dick Cheney and John Yoo and distinguished from his friend John McCain in that he doesn’t consider waterboarding to be torture. Here’s how he explained his stance to an incredulous Connecticut Post:Here, in toto, is Silverstein's note:“It is not like putting burning coals on people’s bodies. The person is in no real danger. The impact is psychological.”The suggestion that the individuals are in no real danger wouldn’t likely be persuasive to the more than 160 individuals who died in detention, a substantial portion of them with injuries linked directly to the Bush Administration’s torture techniques. As the Bush Administration’s own Susan J. Crawford noted, torture is determined by the cumulative physical and psychological effect that the techniques applied have on the subject—which is why Lieberman, who holds a law degree, has things completely wrong.
Joe Lieberman, Stand-up Comic: So did you hear the one about waterboarding?"I call you my base..."
By Ken SilversteinOnce inside the banquet hall, which is always off-limits to the media, the Alfalfans took turns trying to crack each other up. Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman (I-Conn.) — the club’s outgoing president — noted that former vice president Richard B. Cheney injured himself while moving into his new home, according to a source inside the dinner.“I had no idea waterboards were so heavy,” Lieberman quipped.And another knee-slapper from Senator Christopher Bond, who “reminded guests that a newspaper recently published a list of the 25 people most responsible for the global economic meltdown.”
“You know who you are,” he said, according to the source. “And it’s good to see you here tonight.”