Monday, June 11, 2007

Comments on Abuse During Interrogation

There's a debate in the comments to a post over at Death and the Maiden.

Here are my remarks:

"Obviously some techniques used by torturers will be more brutal than others."

Let me reword that: "Obviously some techniques used by torturers will be less sophisticated than others."

And this leads me to answer Jonathan's comment:

"Good guys" who are the good guys only because they're not as bad as the bad guys aren't really the "good guys".

It's a question of integrity.

Once you take your finger out of the dike and let a little water in, then the structure has lost its integrity and the flood is on the way.

Similarly, once you allow some of the more sophisticated techniques of abuse, you are now a torturer, your soul has been sold, and you and the devil are merely haggling over the price.

Bin Laden can't destroy America, because he has no idea what America is. And that's why he fears us; he fears the unknown.

The people who are going to destroy America are those short-sighted people who allow the promise of immediate expediency in the face of the exigencies of a crisis to erode the integrity of their principles, until America no longer offers "liberty and justice for all", but only for those who aren't deemed a threat.

At that point, we will be no better than the regimes in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, or the one we just overthrew in Iraq.

At that point, our troops will come home, only to realize they were sold out and the war was lost while they were away.

At that point, Bin Laden will declare victory; even though he is unable to destroy us, if we destroy ourselves reacting to him, he's still won.

"... one nation, under God, with liberty and justice for all."

"This isn't an anti-U.S. blog."

No, this is a pro-U.S. blog, because you are trying to defend what is right about America.

The America that I know and love is the land of chivalry and heroes -- sure, they wear cowboy hats instead of suits of armor, but let's not confuse form with content! The America that I know and love is the land of Superman and Wonder Woman, where the FBI are the good guys, where our military has the best record of any military anywhere in the world ever for treating even our enemies humanely, indeed, well! The America that I know and love is a place where even the little guy is equal before the law, and knows his rights will be protected.

And that means no abuse during interrogation.

This is what makes America great. If we lose this, we lose ourselves, and Bin Laden takes the credit for doing what the communists, the Nazis, and all the other thugs of history have failed to do.

As I live, that America is not consigned to the trash heap of history.

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