Thursday, April 30, 2009

As a Matter of Fact, They Do

So I'm reading the latest argumentum ad absurdum against Conservatives Who Don't Mind Using "Torture" in Extreme Situations ... and I had to wonder ... is this guy trying to argue against his own implicit thesis?

He does, somewhere, in the middle of the article, basically lay out a fairly decent observation, answering his own question.

One suspects that the architects of the Bush torture regime, and its leading defenders, know perfectly well that it's torture. This, I think, is why they don't propose wider use of the waterboard in the criminal-justice system. They think it's torture and they think it's wrong, but they think it's useful and therefore justified under the extreme circumstances of the "war on terror." The public seems to see things the same way, with a recent CBS/New York Times poll showing that over 70 percent of Americans think waterboarding is torture, but a plurality deem it justified anyway.

So yeah, we do know what torture is, and we have a difference of opinion as to whether or not A) it should EVER be used (yes, we think it is appropriate in certain cases), or B) where we draw the line over what constitutes torture. It is subjective, and there are varying degrees. The Great Understanders of Nuance™ , though, can't seem to wrap their heads around the difference between giving someone the mistaken impression that he's drowning for 20-40 seconds and, say, sawing their living heads off for their family to watch on video.

But then he spends the rest of the article justifying his religious opinion that it was both wrong AND useless, despite what 70% of Americans allegedly say. Because ("Bush Torture Regime") ... he's not really interested in whether or not it is useful, or whether or not it is torture. He's interested in continuing to flog the Bush Administration. What's the term? Beating a dead horse? You're guy is in already!

He ends up the story by saying:

Even if torture was a useful investigative tool, it probably wouldn't be a good idea to do it. But the fact of the matter is that it isn't and never has been.
Suppose you had a very important problem to solve ... a life or death problem, and you didn't have any "reliable" tools to solve it, but you had some that might work. Would you not use any of them because they are "unreliable"? I know, that is the way of government, for sure -- say, when a terminal cancer patient might benefit from an experimental drug but the FDA won't let that person have access to the drug regardless of his or her financial resources to pay for it.

Another thing this report revealed was that the Islamists felt they had a duty to resist as much as they could for Allah, but after a point they were free to spill their guts since Allah has guaranteed victory in the end, anyway. A little "Torture-Lite™" seemed to let them feel they'd fulfilled their obligation to Allah and freed them up to talk.

We didn't yank granny off the street and torture her because we don't like brown-skinned people -- especially if they're Muslim. We grabbed a very few of cold-blooded, calculating, conscience-bereft people who spent their time planning the intentional murder of large numbers of civilians, some of whom had succeeded -- and did our best to try to figure out who was next and when and how ... so we could stop it. Do Progressives Understand Evil???? Hell no!!! They think George Bush is evil and Khalid Sheik Muhammed is a victim.

Add to this that Obama's National Intelligence Director Dennis Blair and Clinton-appointed CIA chief Bill Tenet are two of the people who say that the methods yielded "high value information", and you begin to wonder about the objectivity of this article. As a matter of fact, George Tenet said that the "enhanced interrogation" program alone yielded more information than everything gotten from "the FBI, the Central Intelligence Agency and the National Security Agency put together."

No comments: