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Location: LaGrange, Kentucky, United States

The opinions and interests of a husband, analyst and Iraq war veteran.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Torturous links

I'm sticking to my opinion that juvenile pranks like Abu Ghraib, already illegal under the Unified Code of Military Justice don't count as "torture." But a serious debate over the real McCoy, you know... honest-to-goodness, no-holds-barred torture has broken out and I actually find it interesting. Can't help it. I've been sucked in. If you've been sucked in as well, here are some (by my reckoning) level headed links:

Old Ace - "The Moral Case for Torture." In which he expresses a lament I share with him:

Okay, I've heard that take before. That we allow torture, but we don't allow it. Wink wink. On the QT. Keeps things from getting out of hand.

But here's the thing: That's out the window right now, because the liberals in this country are not content to leave it on the QT. For reasons of pure political positioning, they want to expose it and declare it illegal.

So we don't have that choice...

Amen, Ace. That'd be my preferred course, but as you note, the screamers have made it clear they won't accept it even if more innocent people have to die in order for them to keep their "no torture ever!" piety.

Bonus: Commentor Brock elequently sums up the idea behind punishing those "outside the contract."

Some argue that even terrorists have rights. Well, I say that no man has any rights except those which he can defend. By social contract, we grant rights to each other, and agree to defend those rights for each other. When a terrorists commits himself to his endeavor, he is outside the contract and I have no responsibility to protect his rights. When I torture him for information (practical torture you might say; not Baathist "for Saddam's glory" torture), I am defending my own rights and the rights of all members of civilization (even the French).

I noted the other day that this is the glue which binds Geneva together. Torture? No. Deny rights to the rule breakers? Absolutely necessary. If we abandon that concept, cut and run so to speak, if we publically garantee equal treatment for humans who adhere to their social obligations and head chopping maniacs, more innocents will die as a result.

New Ace - "Refuting Objections To Coercive Interrogations"

Continuing in the same vein, Ace demolishes the arguments thrown out there by "give them the comfy chair only, or else we're just like them!" liberals.

I don't say "torture," because it's not clear to me that any of the techniques used by the CIA or military intel guys are actually "torture."

Which is where I come out in the end, as well. Torture is already illegal. I believe it should stay that way, but we don't need a new bill defining torture down, trivializing real torture. I'm way pissed off over the blowhards who want to equate the country club conditions we provide to detainees with the murdering, head choppin' ways of our "outside the social contract" enemies. But mostly I'm angry over what I consider a deliberate obtuseness on the part of the moral absolutists now bemoaning our "torture" policies. If there was anything we could all get together on it's this; If you target civilians, yer goin' down. Right? Can't we all agree on just this one idea?

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