19 Nov The Conservative’s ‘kettle logic’ spin on torture
Mike Targett writes:
[A] “bucket defence” might be more familiar to some of your readers as Freud’s “kettle logic.” However, for Freud, the defence is used when the denier has difficulty accepting the truth, not simply difficulty admitting it. It’s plain to see that for the Harper government, the truth was merely inconvenient. When you think of it, “detracting from the narrative” has a sort of “the intelligence and facts were being fixed around the policy” ring to it, doesn’t it? So “bucket defence” is in fact better: the Harper government is not neurotic, but callous and even cruel.
Unforgivable. (If we are who I think we want to be.)
The Sharpener pegs kettle logic as an old German joke, retold by Dr. F.:
A man borrows a kettle from his neighbour. When he returns it, the neighbour complains that it’s got a hole in it. Don’t look at me, says our man, I never borrowed your kettle. Besides, it was fine when I gave it back to you. I wish I’d never borrowed it anyway – it’s useless, it’s got a great big hole in it.
In other words, Don’t blame me, I wasn’t there. Well, OK, I was there, but nothing went wrong. Well, maybe something did go wrong, but it was nothing to do with me.
As Wells explains:
The goal of a bucket defence is not to suggest a single, coherent, rebuttal of a claim. It is to throw up such a fog of confusion and contradiction that the entire process is discredited or spectators are discouraged from continuing to pay attention.