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Futures, Options, and Swaps (the weblog of Alan DeNiro)

“America Is My Client” says Bryce Lefever

I nearly drove off the road when I heard this on NPR.

Just listen to the whole thing. Bryce Lefever, ladies and gentlemen.

Complete with a “sit down, shut up, watch what you say” warning to the American people who dare question his espousal of torture.

And I really wonder-the fact that many of the people picked up in Afghanistan or Iraq are picked up by mistake, by accident, or turn out to be completely innocent. Does it ever enter into their mindset? No, it does not. That gap speaks volumes.

“I have no fondness for the enemy, and I don’t feel like I need to take care of their mental health needs.”

Almost as much shame needs to be put upon NPR, who gave this monster pretty much an open mic to spout off, with zero critical thinking, processing, or countering of his sick views. Thanks, Alix Spiegel. I know you meekly said, “Now, some psychologists don’t agree!” but actually, you know, putting one of the psychologists on the air would have been-what’s the word? Journalistic?

God forbid.

Mon, May 4 2009 » Polis

4 Responses

  1. Doctorb May 5 2009 @ 4:42 pm

    I think they did a great job of interviewing him. He comes across as an evil monster without the journalist having to say “He’s an evil monster”. They don’t construct a narrative like “First he became a psychologist, then he worked on SERE and found that he liked hurting people, so now he refines torture methods for a living — a perfect job for a sociopath!” but that is what you get out of the story if you’re listening at all. His “sit down and shut up” comment makes him even more unsympathetic, and it would be gilding the lily for them to say “also Dr Lefever is a total douche”.

  2. Susan Dunham June 6 2009 @ 11:32 am

    I haven’t commented before (your Truther comment cracks me up), but I’ve been thinking about this and following this topic for awhile, so here goes. I have seen a bit on Dr. Lefever, and to me, it sure looks like he’s getting a bad deal. Go to Leftword ( and read the section about Moral Autonomy. That sure doesn’t sound like a monster. And if you go to his website, you can see some of what NPR did, which really misrepresented him. Now, I don’t know what to think on waterboarding, because I know people in the military who have been waterboarded as part of training, but I sure wouldn’t want to go through it. But he didn’t really defend it, he just said he has experienced it and it didn’t hurt him. And he said he opposes torture. And he didn’t say to shut up, he said that people need to offer solutions instead of just criticize. When you read his own words, instead of what others say or edit, it sure looks like NPR and other people are selectively editing what he said, then everybody repeats that. That’s not really fair.

  3. Alan June 22 2009 @ 11:24 pm

    Hi Susan, thanks for stopping by and sorry it’s taken me a bit to respond (it’s been a nutty couple of weeks). I appreciate what you’re saying. I was careful, after hearing the interview, to look for quotes and soundbites he had given over the last few years, and they have been more or less consistent with the tone and content struck in the interview. It’s very possible that NPR was misrepresenting him in some way-the whole affair was really clumsy-but his comments nevertheless seemed to be part of a larger fabric of thought.

    With that said, I decided to take down some of the inflammatory rhetoric in my post, which was very spur of the moment in anger. I agree that people should listen to the NPR piece but also explore the documents you posted a link to, and make up their own minds.

  4. Susan Dunham July 6 2009 @ 10:27 am

    Alan, thanks for the response (I’m slow because I’ve been on vacation, if you consider yard work “vacation”). One of the things I like about your blog (in addition to your various asides, like hating NCIS because I hate that show and don’t get its popularity) is that I think you’re a thoughtful guy. I am kind of shy about commenting because some of these blogs get completely vicious to anyone who has a different idea, and I know it’s just the Internet and I shouldn’t care, but I do. I appreciate your willingness to think about things honestly. The more I read about this general issue, the more I think there is alot of talking and not much listening going on. Maybe I’m one of the few people left who hasn’t made up their minds, but I think this is a hard issue. I keep thinking about all the people killed on 9/11 and Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl and the soldiers who have been captured over there, and how far would I go to keep those things from happening? I’d like to say I know the answer to even that question, but I don’t. I guess I tend to give the benefit of the doubt to anyone who is willing to say they don’t really know, either, or that it’s something that one person can’t decide on their own. I wonder if there are even any areas of agreement between the various sides?

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