The inimitable Frank J. Fleming summarizes the liberal establishment position of moral superiority on coercive interrogation.
If the CIA torture memos tell us anything, itâ€™s that Americans still have a long way to go towards civility. When disenfranchised youths flew planes into buildings, it should have been a time of quiet introspection. Instead, Americans gave into baser emotions and demanded vengeance against our â€œattackers.â€ Since we had the barbaric Bush administration in charge, they gave into those demands and soon loosed the sadistic Cheney, who took a break from blasting his friends in the face with a shotgun to turn his violence on foreign minorities. Pretty soon our intelligence agencies had grabbed some random Arab terrorist masterminds off the street and started inconveniencing them, making them uncomfortable, and â€” dare I say it â€” torturing them.
And now we are no better than they are. Less better even.
A civilized nation should never torture. Period. Ever, for any reason. No matter how many lives are at stake. It always just reduces us to animals that thirst for the pain of others. We say we want it to stop â€œterroristsâ€ from killing us, but if in the process we murder our own humanity, whatâ€™s the point? And anyway, torture doesnâ€™t work. I donâ€™t care what basic logic or common sense or history tells you. It never works. Ever. Thatâ€™s what studies say. Scientific ones where, to test the efficacy, they tortured monkeys to see if they could get the monkeys to talk, and none of them ever did. So with that issue settled, for what other reason could we be seeking torture but inhuman sadistic pleasure?
Yes, some are claiming that the torturing of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed saved thousands of people from a plot to blow up the Library Tower in Los Angeles, but thatâ€™s ridiculous. First of all, if they really got useful information, then they obviously didnâ€™t use torture because itâ€™s a well-known fact that torture doesnâ€™t work (remember the studies I mentioned). But they claimed they used waterboarding, which they say is not torture but we all know is totally torture. I mean, they hold someone down and pour water â€” real water â€” on his face; try that on a cat and see if it acts like that isnâ€™t torture. Thus, since waterboarding is torture, it obviously didnâ€™t cause KSM to give up information because torture doesnâ€™t work. Thus, he must have given up the information for reasons completely unrelated to the waterboarding.
Now look at what we (and by we, I mean you, because Iâ€™m not a part of this) have become. Torturers. And what did we gain? Information on a terror plot that was probably never going to happen in the first place. And even if it was going to happen, itâ€™s not like thousands of people donâ€™t die in LA every year anyway. Plus, â€œLibrary Towerâ€ isnâ€™t actually a library. So we gained nothing, and we debased ourselves by becoming nothing more than common Cheneys. Just because someone masterminded a plot that killed thousands doesnâ€™t make it right to pour water on him.
So I hope your bloodthirst has been quenched, you mindless barbarians. You may say Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is â€œevil,â€ but then I ask, â€œWho is holding whom hostage and pouring water on his face?â€ No wonder the rest of the world looks at us and sees who the real terrorists are. This is what our torture has done to us. And I weep.
Read the whole thing.