Torture and the Right

Discussion in 'Middle East - General' started by midcan5, Dec 21, 2008.

  1. midcan5
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    midcan5 liberal / progressive

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    Did conservatism lose all sense of value when it condoned torture and the suspension of law after 911?

    "My own view is that the American conservative movement's embrace or defense of torture was the moment its intellectual collapse became irrecoverable. When conservatism abandoned core values of American decency in favor of pure force, exemplified by torture techniques designed by Communists and Nazis, then it ceased to be conservative in the sense that Burke or Hayek or Oakeshott or Kirk would begin to understand. And watching the intellectual dishonesty of the right on this issue in the last few years has been a watershed for me. It has been, in my judgment, one long, awful surrender of truth to power. Take a moment with me to review what one leading light of the Republican blogosphere wrote when the Abu Ghraib scandal first hit the news in the spring of 2004." A.S.

    The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (December 15, 2008) - The Right And Abu Ghraib I
    The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan (December 18, 2008) - Ross On Torture II

    "So as far as the bigger picture goes, then, it seems indisputable that in the name of national security, and with the backing of seemingly dubious interpretations of the laws, this Administration pursued policies that delivered many detainees to physical and mental abuse, and not a few to death. These were wartime measures, yes, but war is not a moral blank check: If you believe that Abu Ghraib constituted a failure of jus in bello, then you have to condemn the decisions that led to Abu Ghraib, which means that you have to condemn the President and his Cabinet." R.D.

    Thinking About Torture - Ross Douthat
     
  2. editec
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    editec Mr. Forgot-it-All

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    America isn't exactly morally bankrupt yet, but its ethical balance sheet isn't looking so good of late.

    We can change though.
     
  3. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    If you had kidnapped my wife or child, I would torture you until you told me where they were. I may lose some sleep over it later, but I wouldn't hesitate for an instant.

    If that makes me morally bankrupt, so be it.

    In my more cynical moments I see the reality of human nature is the carrot and the stick. That for the most part those two ingredients make up 90% of the glue that binds our non-familial 'civilization'.
     
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2008
  4. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    So I assume you'd have no problem with someone torturing you for information if they believed you'd kidnapped their wife and child?
     
  5. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    They would need to have more than a 'belief'...they would need proof positive.
     
  6. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    Exactly what kind of "positive proof"? You saw them? What if they have a twin? What if someone dressed up as them? The truth is that in our country you are innocent until proven guilty and these so called terrorists are being tortured without being proven anything except in the wrong place at the wrong time.

    To top that off, torture is an ineffective means of getting information. Many people under torture will make things up just to stop the pain.
     
  7. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    Everyone has the highest ideals until they actually are in the position of responsibility.

    Here is the hypothetical:

    You have capture a 9/11 hijacker on 9/9/01....he ain't talking, he wants a lawyer. You have solid intel that a terrorist attack is imminent. Your subject is a known Al-Quid a leader who is in the US illegally using an alias. He has detailed plans of the White House including first hand recon photos taken 9/08/01 in his possession.

    Do you get him a lawyer or hand him over to Jack Bauer and CTU?
     
  8. Againsheila
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    Againsheila Gold Member

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    I would evacuate the white house and tighten security, I would not torture the man.
     
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  9. Old Rocks
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    Old Rocks Diamond Member

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    Very nice theatrical. Unfortunetely, all too many of the people that we have tortured were guilty of nothing more than being in the wrong place at the wrong time. Some were tortured to death. You can present hypothetical cases all that you care to, we failed our own morality.
     
  10. Missourian
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    Missourian Gold Member

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    It's is also a very realistic scenerio.

    I'll take your response to mean you don't want to answer my Kobayashi Maru hypothetical.

    Either you agree to 'extreme interogation' of one known terrorist or allow thousands to die.

    It's a difficult choice, one I'm glad I don't have to make in real life.
     

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