Torture Redux Reconsidered…Again April 22, 2009Posted by Benjamin Wendell in Politics.
Tags: bush, godwin's law, memo, nazi, torture, waterboard
Apparently there was more bipartisan complicity than is now being acknowledged, as well asa dispute about the value of the information
Of course there was bipartisan complicity. The Democrats spent eight years rolling over and playing dead as the Bush administration lied and cheated their way into a war and then systematically dismantled wide tracts of the Constitution. That’s just one reason why prosecuting anyone for this travesty is little more than pissing in the wind. As for the value of the information gained from torture, there’s little doubt that they occasionally culled a pearl from a mountain of pig manure. That’s not the issue. The issue is whether there weren’t better and more humane ways to get the same intelligence. The conservatives love to site the ticking nuclear bomb/Jack Bauer scenario, but no one is even suggesting that such a scenario was involved. There was no issue of “where’s the nuclear bomb and when will it go off?” or “who’s carrying the vials of genetically engineered smallpox?” This was more along the lines of “Who do you work for and where do we find him?” I don’t know about you, but they’d only have to have one fingernail halfway out and I’d be screaming, “Osama Bin Laden! My wife set up a cot for him in the garage!” or any other damned thing I thought would make the pain stop.
I fear that this torture debate could go on ad infinitum on this blog, let alone in Congress and in the media. Further, I hate to jump the shark and violate Godwin’s Law by going to the Nazi analogy, but someone’s got to do it, and I’m not even the first. Check out this piece off Huffington Post detailing the memos from the Reich’s legal department rationalizing and decriminalizing “torture”. Chilling comparison.
And one more thing. We keep hearing that waterboarding (the worst procedure to which the CIA is officially admitting) is not torture, but a form of enhanced or harsh interrogation. Check out this video from a macho reporter from Playboy who bet a trained military interrogator that he could tolerate 15 SECONDS of waterboarding. He lost the bet…badly. Then consider that according to the official memos Khalid Sheik Mohammed was waterboarded 183 times. Presumably, his questioners didn’t politely stop the waterboarding each time he signaled that he’d had enough, as was the case with the reporter. Then ask yourself whether you believe that every instance of waterboarding was for gathering invaluable intelligence or whether any of it was done out of sadism and revenge. If you’re ok with that, I suggest you go take a good long look in the mirror.