Jesse Ventura is Correct?

I could never do the math on Jesse "The Body" Ventura. Did he say one smart thing for every dumb thing? Two to one? One to two? But in this clip he fares very well, by my count. His opinions and my verdicts:

1. George Bush is the worst president in his lifetime.

2. Guantanamo is our own Hanoi Hilton.

3. People involved in torture should be prosecuted.

4. Waterboarding doesn't yield good intelligence (or Dick Cheney carried out the Sharon Tate murders).
Check (or check)

5. Legalizing Marijuana is equivalent to ending prohibition in terms of reducing crime.
Check (and I don't even smoke pot or wear hemp, though I'd like my books published on hemp paper)

6. Al Franken should win the Minnesota senate seat and the feds shouldn't weigh in because states should make that choice.

7. Dick Cheney is a coward.

8. Colin Powell is a hero. Rush Limbaugh ain't.
Check and check

9. We should end the embargo on Cuba.

10. Surfing is a religion.
Okay, well...

11. The Miss California flap is a waste of time.

12. Marriage shouldn't even be a government issue, and government should only recognize civil unions.
Check and a big Amen!

13. Jesse Ventura is a poet.
Certainly not. Ouch.

14. If torture really worked we'd have Bin Laden.
Well, that doesn't necessarily follow...

15. Torture doesn't work.
No argument here.

Okay, so he's 13 for 15, counting the two-for-one. Not shabby. I'm still not sure I'd vote for the guy, but if we ever need a replacement for Joe Biden, Obama could do worse.


When is torture justified? Never.

Roger Cohen, in today's Washington Post, muses, "Yet I have to wonder whether what he [Cheney] is saying now is the truth -- i.e., torture works."

"works"? "works"? The ethical calculus here is completely screwed up. First of all, even if Cheney could prove the torture saved lives (a doubtful proposition), he can't know that the torture will not set a precedent that enemies may use it against our soldiers in the future, or know how many terrorists were ginned-up using accounts of torture, so the simple one-to-one math is impossible. Secondly, even if Cheney calculates that torture is worth it, part of that calculation must include jail time for the breaking of the law. If it was really worth it, and Cheney really believes that, he should be willing to do the time, or at least try to make his case to a jury rather than Bob Scheiffer. If he's not willing to go to jail, then he doesn't really think it was worth it.

Even if Cheney were principled enough to turn himself in for violations of US law and for war crimes, he'd still be wrong. Torture is never justified, even if it seems to work. I wonder if Cheney wants to start an international race to the bottom of the depths of our humanity because he knows he already has a head start.