The Iraq quote hall of fame

iraqwhoppers720 One New York Times columnist is especially delusional when it comes to Iraq:

It’s really hard to give simple sound-bite answers about past mistakes. The question, would you go back and undo your errors is unanswerable. It’s only useful to ask, what wisdom have you learned from your misjudgments that will help you going forward?

Which brings us to Iraq. From the current vantage point, the decision to go to war was a clear misjudgment, made by President George W. Bush and supported by 72 percent of the American public who were polled at the time. I supported it, too.

While another has a complete grasp on reality:

Yes, the narrative goes, we now know that invading Iraq was a terrible mistake, and it’s about time that everyone admits it. Now let’s move on.

Well, let’s not — because that’s a false narrative, and everyone who was involved in the debate over the war knows that it’s false. The Iraq war wasn’t an innocent mistake, a venture undertaken on the basis of intelligence that turned out to be wrong. America invaded Iraq because the Bush administration wanted a war. The public justifications for the invasion were nothing but pretexts, and falsified pretexts at that. We were, in a fundamental sense, lied into war.

No, we don’t have enough nukes to destroy the world

nukes_550

We were always told that there were enough nuclear weapons to destroy the world multiple times over. But then we went off and had those nuclear arms talks that the conservatives were all freaked out about, and now, we don’t even have enough to destroy 1 percent of the world.

Those peaceniks. Always trying to save the world from itself.

Something to look forward to in May: The Age of Ultron

I am not worthy:

One additional thought. Has anyone noticed that there are a bunch of movies coming up about artificial intelligence and all the bad things that can happen? Like this one:

And this one:

I wonder why that is?

Speaking at the MIT Aeronautics and Astronautics department’s Centennial Symposium in October, Tesla boss Elon Musk referred to artificial intelligence as “summoning the demon.”

I think we should be very careful about artificial intelligence. If I were to guess like what our biggest existential threat is, it’s probably that. So we need to be very careful with the artificial intelligence. Increasingly scientists think there should be some regulatory oversight maybe at the national and international level, just to make sure that we don’t do something very foolish. With artificial intelligence we are summoning the demon. In all those stories where there’s the guy with the pentagram and the holy water, it’s like yeah he’s sure he can control the demon. Didn’t work out.

British inventor Clive Sinclair has said he thinks artificial intelligence will doom mankind.

“Once you start to make machines that are rivaling and surpassing humans with intelligence, it’s going to be very difficult for us to survive,” he told the BBC. “It’s just an inevitability.”

After gushing about the immediate future of technology in his Reddit AMA, [Bill] Gates aligned himself with the AI alarm-sounders.

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence,” Gates wrote. “First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent. That should be positive if we manage it well. A few decades after that though the intelligence is strong enough to be a concern. I agree with Elon Musk and some others on this and don’t understand why some people are not concerned.”

It really can’t be that bad, right?

This week, authorities in Beijing announced an initiative to catch corrupt officials who have fled overseas. The plan, set to be put into action next month, will better coordinate Chinese investigations into offshore funds and “underground banks” used by officials to funnel money out of the country.

It’s just another anti-graft measure implemented under the watch of President Xi Jinping, who has made the fight against corruption a signature issue since coming to power toward the end of 2012. According to Bloomberg News, Xi’s campaigns “have snared more than 100,000 cadres,” or members of the Communist Party.

About 150 Chinese economic fugitives are suspected to be in the United States, the BBC reports.

But there’s one thing slightly troubling about the latest campaign to catch fugitive officials abroad: its name. Chinese officials have dubbed it “Sky Net.”

And we all know what happens when SkyNet becomes self aware:

 

 

The CIA torture report: rectal feeding

I guess when you’ve committed yourself to torturing people, this is one of the sick procedures you come up with:

Among the more jarring passages in the Senate Intelligence Committee’s report on CIA interrogations of terrorism suspects are descriptions of agency employees subjecting uncooperative detainees to “rectal rehydration” and “rectal feeding.”

The report said that at least five detainees underwent the procedures without documented medical necessity and that others were threatened with them. While the CIA defended its approach, the techniques are all but absent from modern medicine. …

Another detainee who apparently underwent the procedure was Majid Khan, a Pakistani citizen and former suburban Baltimore resident, who pleaded guilty in 2012 to five war crimes, including murder, attempted murder and spying. He was held by the CIA overseas for three years before being transferred to the military facility at Guantanamo Bay. The report said Khan was subjected to “involuntary rectal feeding and rectal rehydration,” which included two bottles of Ensure. Later that day, his “lunch tray,” consisting of hummus, pasta with sauce, nuts and raisins, was pureed and “rectally infused.” …

The same officer, the report said, wrote: “[r]egarding the rectal tube, if you place it and open up the IV tubing, the flow will self regulate, sloshing up the large intestines.” … The officer wrote: “[W]hat I infer is that you get a tube up as far as you can, then open the IV wide. No need to squeeze the bag — let gravity do the work.”

They’ve just given every psychopath with authority a new idea.