Wednesday, December 07, 2005

Torture Is Not US

I don't know whether torture is effective. John McCain in his book says he gave up information he shouldn't have -- and he received only moderate torture, due to his father's status in the Navy. But torture's effectiveness is not the issue.

Victory is the issue.

And if we become the enemy to defeat the enemy, the enemy still wins. That's what President Bush means when he says Osama bin Laden hates our freedoms. To some extent, Bush is right. We do have freedoms bin Laden doesn't want. We do draw the line at doing things to people in the name of our cause that bin Laden will do in the name of us. The reason for this is that we are not Osama bin Laden. But even if we kill him, if we end up becoming him, he will still have won.

I just got word from Operation Truth of a new campaign to boost support for McCain's anti-torture legislation. It's called Torture Is Not US. As long as that's true, we're still winning.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Just a question for this blogger (if he/she responds to questions). If we had a known terrorist in our custody, and we knew he had knowledge of a nuclear bomb, hidden somewhere in the middle of NYC, and he (the terrorist) admitted that he knew where it was and when it would detonate, but was refusing to give us the information......should we torture him to get it? Would it be right for us to torture the terrorist in order to obtain information that would avoid killing MILLIONS of innocent people and rendering New York uninhabitable for thousands of years? Or do we play "good guy," and NOT torture him....and let the nuclear bomb detonate? I'll be interested to see if you can give a clear, direct answer to this question.

Anonymous said...

Easy answer to above question. Of course you torture the terrorist to get the information. Anyone who thinks the lives of millions of innocent people should be sacrificed to avoid torturing a TERRORIST is mentally twisted. I'm all for ethics and morals, but they are not absolutes. For example, stealing is wrong. But if you're child is dying, and the only way to get lifesaving medicine is to steal it, you steal it. I realize it's a slippery slope, but that's life. I'd electrocute a terrorist for 9 hours until his eyes melted if it would yield information that would save millions of innocent lives. I find it hard to believe any thinking, decent person would disagree.

Anonymous said...

unless i've misconstrued the point, this blogger seems to be saying that if we ever "sink to the level" of our enemies' tactics, we are no better than our enemies. that philosophy works in the movies with fictional heroes, but sadly, it's not so clean and easy in the real world. when you are fighting people who are pure evil, people who will resort to the most vile, disgusting, violent means to accomplish their goals, sometimes you have to get down in the mud with them in order to defeat them, and to protect yourself. no good person likes the idea of fighting dirty. but if you're in a street fight with an opponent who's happy and willing to fight dirty, you might just have to, or else be destroyed. we'd all like a nice, clean fist fight. but if the guy you're fighting decides to pick up a two-by-four with protruding nails, and he plans to swing it into your head, you better quickly abandon your thoughts of a "clean" fist fight. that is, unless you want to end up on the pavement dead with nails in your head. sometimes (and I agree it's unfortunate), the good guys have to play rough (dirty) in order to beat the bad guys. i think the real problem here is, liberals often completely underestimate just how evil some of our enemies are. they paint them as "poor, misunderstood victims" who have no choice but to use violence to achieve their goals. wrong, liberals. many of our enemies are just sick, horrific animals that happen to look like human beings. but they're not. human beings don't fly jet planes into tall buildings with the hopes of murdering thousands of innocent civilians. and if we have to play a little dirty in order to stop animals like that from harming us, so be it. if you want to keep it a "clean fist fight" while your opponent decides to whip out a switchblade or a gun, go ahead and keep on fist-fighting. we'll all talk about how noble and wonderful you were at your funeral.

Ol' Zeb said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ol' Zeb said...

The anonymous poster above -- yes, singular -- is the one living in fantasy TeeVee Land, a place where Secret Agent Jack from the Fox show "24" shoots the bad guy in the knee and saves the world.

The Bush Administration has kidnapped over 3000 people, transported them without papers, and delivered them to foreign nationals for "extreme" interrogation. They stopped 3000 dirty bombs, did they?

Invoking reciprocity, Iraqi Bathist agents should be allowed to rendition the leaders of the Bush administration -- including the current head of the World Bank -- and use extreme interrogation to get the truth and end the war? I do not believe that is OK either -- but that is what you are offering.

Congrats, Mr. Larsen, you are drawing a higher class of troll. Only Judith Miller class, but higher than your average troll. Must mean you're doing a good job. Thanks.

Marjorie L. Swanson said...

Why is there always this notion that somehow we will capture someone that we know has the information we need to stop the death of millions of people?

Could it be because that will justify doing whatever we want to do?

Torture is wrong. Not a little wrong, not sometimes wrong, and not wrong only when "they" do it.

I argree that should the "Hollywood Fantasy" scenario of the capture of the bad guy with the info that will save millions we should do all that has to be done to protect those lives.
I would bring the thumbscrews. And I would ever after be just as bad as those I fought. There is no regaining the moral high ground.

And just out of curiosity, why do conservatives seek out liberal blogs? Do you think you will change someone's mind? Or are you just a nasty individual who likes to pick fights and denigrate others opinions?

I await your attack. I could expect no less for having the audacity to say what I, one of those terrible liberals, thinks.

Anonymous said...

<< Why is there always this notion that somehow we will capture someone that we know has the information we need to stop the death of millions of people? >>

Why does the question bother you? Seems like a very reasonable question to me. We have a terrorist in custody, and he has information that, if known, would save American lives. Does that really sound so far-fetched to you? Why does posing this scenario bother you?

<< Could it be because that will justify doing whatever we want to do? >>

No. I don't think we should do "whatever" we want. Why extrapolate that? Why not just answer the original question?

<< Torture is wrong. Not a little wrong, not sometimes wrong >>

Agreed. Stealing is also wrong. But if you had a very sick child that needed lifesaving medicine, and you could not obtain it legitimately, would you steal the medicine to save your child's life? (I'm guessing you don't like this question, either.)

<< I agree that should the "Hollywood Fantasy" scenario of the capture of the bad guy with the info that will save millions we should do all that has to be done to protect those lives. I would bring the thumbscrews. And I would ever after be just as bad as those I fought. There is no regaining the moral high ground. >>

Respectfully, I disagree. If using your thumbscrews on a disgusting terrorist would save the lives of many innocent Americans, I think your moral high ground would remain intact. I really do. Let's agree to differ in opinion on that one.

<< why do conservatives seek out liberal blogs? Do you think you will change someone's mind? >>

Probably not. But maybe I can. Or, at least, perhaps I can offer an opposing point of view that will spur thought and/or healthy debate. I feel that's a good thing. Do you not?

And incidentally, I've changed MY mind before when presented with good arguments and new points of view I hadn't considered before. Are you so set in your opinions today, right now, that you're never going to change your mind about anything? I like to be challenged. It forces me to think and reexamine my points of view.

<< Or are you just a nasty individual who likes to pick fights and denigrate others opinions? >>

First, I didn't know that by disagreeing with someone and offering my opposing point of view, I was "denigrating" their opinion.

Second, I assumed this blog was to create a forum to express ideas on political subjects brought up by the host. I assumed all points of view were welcomed. Are you suggesting the host should express his views just so his friends and other like-thinking people can respond with "Yeah!" and "You go, boy!" and "Here here!" That doesn't sound too interesting to me. My assumption is that the host WANTS to hear from people who may not agree with him. Do you feel he only wants to hear from people who pat him on the back in full agreement? (Hey, host, if you don't want to hear opposing points of view, please add to this thread and let us know. I'll be happy to go away if opposing ideas are not wanted here.)

<< I await your attack. >>

So, when someone disagrees with you and says so, you feel "attacked?" You might want to examine why you feel that way. Aren't liberals the ones who claim open-mindedness? I thought open-mindedness implied a willingness to consider all sides... to at least listen to others' points of view. Do I have it wrong?

ceej said...

Anonymouse said "Stealing is also wrong. But if you had a very sick child that needed lifesaving medicine, and you could not obtain it legitimately, would you steal the medicine to save your child's life? (I'm guessing you don't like this question, either.)"

Is this an argument that stealing shouldn't be illegal? If not, I don't see your analogy.

Anonymous said...

<< Is this an argument that stealing shouldn't be illegal? If not, I don't see your analogy. >>

I'm sorry, I should have been clearer. What I meant was -- like stealing, torture is wrong. But special circumstances sometimes excuse otherwise "wrong" behavior. I think torture is wrong and should not be allowed in the vast majority of situations, but in a special situation, a unique highly dangerous circumstance, torture of a terrorist can be a necessary evil. I know many disagree (especially on this blog), but that's my opinion.

ceej said...

I think most people would agree with you, but it sounds like you support McCain's proposed legislation.

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