Filed under: Uncategorized | Tags: cia, khalid shaikh mohammed, lefties, terrorism, torture, waterboarding
My position on torture is that torture is wrong.
However, that doesn’t mean I have to pretend that torture somehow metaphysically “doesn’t work”. It’s amazing. A kid will grow up on, say, the Upper East Side, attend Manhattan Country Day School, live in a Park Avenue apartment & vacation in the Hamptons, have a safe cushy childhood playing in parks supervised by nannies, a safe cushy teenagerhood smoking pot, end up at Harvard in a safe cushy dorm existence, get out and start paying his rent via “blogging”, and from all these hugely diverse life experiences he has built up by age, oh I don’t know, twenty-five, he someknow KNOWS that TORTURE DOESN’T WORK. No military experience, no law enforcement experience, no experience in the presence of terrorists let alone trying to get information from them – just the trust fund, and the doorman, and the skiing, and the day camps, and the pot, and the Harvard, and the “blogging” job. “Eureka! Torture doesn’t work!”
I can’t figure that out. I guess such guys must be just really really smart to have figured that out. (Me, I would prefer to have actual, y’know, observational evidence or facts or data – data not gleaned solely from television fiction, that is- before creating such a conclusion. But that’s just me. Apparently.)
Another problem I have with the torture debate is that there is a torture debate. Let me ask you something. Do you honestly think the CIA never tortured people prior to George W. Bush taking the oath of office? Of course they did. We just didn’t have a national debate over it. The notion of having Congress take a vote yea or nay on torture is ridiculous. Of course torture is wrong. There’s nothing to talk about. There’s nothing to vote on. There’s no reason to have Time and Newsweek assign their writers to write 20-page feature pieces on it. Torture is wrong.
But sometimes it works, too. One would think that these factors would count for something to people who are supposedly so ‘reality-based’, and ‘nuanced’. Remember how Bush was so black-and-white and cut-and-dried, and how ‘scary’ that was, because life was ‘gray’?
What happened to all that? Went away as soon as Bush left office.
Sometimes people in tough dilemmas have to choose the lesser evil. You want to prosecute the people who waterboarded Khalid Shaikh Mohammed? Really? I recognize that the CIA isn’t exactly a disinterested observer when they claim that doing so prevented a ‘Second Wave’ attack on Los Angeles. But suppose – just for a second, for the sake of argument – that it’s true. That without waterboarding KSM, an attack on LA would have occurred, killing many innocent civilians.
What exactly is the stance being taken here? That the attack should have taken place, and the civilians should’ve been allowed to be murdered, so that preening posturing “bloggers” can sanctimoniously demonstrate how moral they are. Because sometimes American citizens need to be sacrificed so that Left-Wing Thinkers can prove their superiority and wisdom over everyone else. (And, of course, have their guy win elections. You know, the one with (D) after his name. Because that’s the most important thing of all, always, forevermore: (D)s in office.)
UPDATE: Or, what Cobb said.
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