9 Questions the Left Needs to Answer About Torture
Any human being with a functioning conscience or a decent heart loathes torture. Its exercise has been a blight on humanity. With this in mind, those who oppose what the Bush administration did to some terror suspects may be justified. But in order to ascertain whether they are, they need to respond to some questions:
4. If lawyers will be prosecuted for giving legal advice to an administration that you consider immoral and illegal, do you concede that this might inhibit lawyers in the future from giving unpopular but sincerely argued advice to the government in any sensitive area? They will, after all, know that if the next administration disapproves of their work, they will be vilified by the media and prosecuted by the government.
Signed treaties are the law of the land, and for opinions so shockingly wayward of well-established American law, as the Geneva Conventions have been since the first one in 1864, the lawyers should be canned, shamed and stripped of their Bar standings. It’s the guys who hired and listened to these obliging incompetents who get prosecuted. The President, for starters.
5. Presumably you would acknowledge that the release of the classified reports on the handling of high-level, post-Sept. 11 terror suspects would inflame passions in many parts of the Muslim world. If innocents were murdered because nonviolent cartoons of Muhammad were published in a Danish newspaper, presumably far more innocents will be tortured and murdered with the release of these reports and photos. Do you accept any moral responsibility for any ensuing violence against American and other civilians?
What? Dennis, you’re the kind of idiot that would have held the Rodney King trial and verdicts in hermitic secrecy. When wrong is exposed and the world erupts, everybody learns that the consequences are dire–as they should be. Good citizens want to know how their decisions affect their communities, the society, the world. We’re not the Roman Empire, reaching for the Gods’ embrace while standing on the backs of twitchy slaves.
6. Many members of the intelligence community now feel betrayed and believe that the intelligence community will be weakened in their ability to fight the most vicious organized groups in the world. As reported in the Washington Post, former intelligence officer “(Mark) Lowenthal said that fear has paralyzed agents on the ground. Apparently, many of those in the know are certain that life-saving information was gleaned from high level terror suspects who were waterboarded. As Mike Scheuer, former head of the CIA unit in charge of tracking Osama bin Laden, said, ”We were very certain that the interrogation procedures procured information that was worth having.” If, then, the intelligence community has been adversely affected, do you believe it can still do the work necessary to protect tens, perhaps hundreds, of thousands of people from death and maiming?
Bullshit. Much of the intelligence community feels exactly the opposite way–Obama was received in Langley with a standing ovation, and exhorted them to ‘uphold our values.’ An FBI interrogator of Abu Zubaydah, Ali Soufan, personally recounted how torture failed in the interrogations. Nobody’s surprised by the revelation: all-out warfare has been going on for millenia, and torture doesn’t work.
It’s a narcissist’s tool: tell me what’s really going on, I know what’s really going on–there, see? I knew it. Reminiscent of your half-baked assertions I’m icing here, Dennis.