Saturday, May 14, 2011

Torture, Take 2

Blogspot software has been hosed up off and on for a couple days.  Finally it seems OK as I write this post Friday PM for posting Saturday morning (you didn't really think I got up every single day to write a post around 6:00 am, did you?).

My Thursday morning's post on War Machines never went up and for some reason remained as a draft until I just hit PUBLISH moments ago.  Friday morning's post on torture didn't get published until Friday afternoon and was inaccessible to me to revise. is the rest of the torture post, which consists of a couple more lefties like me decrying the normalization of torture:

Matthew Alexander, quoted at Crooks and Liars: My argument is pretty simple, Amy. I don't torture because it doesn't work. I don't torture because it's immoral, and it's against the law, and it's inconsistent with my oath of office, in which I swore to defend the Constitution of the United States.

And it's also inconsistent with American principles. So, my primary argument against torture is one of morality, not one of efficacy.

You know, if torture did work and we could say it worked 100 percent of the time, I still wouldn't use it. The U.S. Army Infantry, when it goes out into battle and it faces resistance, it doesn't come back and ask for the permission to use chemical weapons. I mean, chemical weapons are extremely effective-we could say almost 100 percent effective. And yet, we don't use them. But we make this-carve out this special space for interrogators and say that, well, they're different, so they can violate the laws of war if they face obstacles.

And next, from Pruning Shears:

If you're willing to allow your visceral impulses to conjure up exceptions to your principles then you have to let others do the same - which is exactly what led to the torture regime, general disregard of human rights, and the implementation of police state surveillance. That said, my main reaction [to bin Laden's death] has been, "he is one dead m*rf*r."  I know my deep satisfaction with his death comes from a primitive and emotional place. I understand how dangerous it is to let animal instinct take precedence over rational thought. I should be better than that. I'm working on it.
So am I.


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