Friday, May 1, 2009

America tortures - and the Far Right yawns.

I haven't weighed in much on torture here - but I am commenting elsewhere when I see fit. Part of the reason is that this whole thing sickens me. The other part is other do it so much better.

There was a day when I respected Mr. Krathammer. Almost admired him. But as time goes on, he descends so far into the lap of the Far Right, that I can no longer count him among those whose words I read to frame a cogent opposition argument to my own beliefs. Rush Limbaugh passed that mark many years ago too. These men, who have so often called for greater imposition of their morals as the law of the land on many issues, refuse to sanction the application of that law (signed by Mr. Reagan whom they claim to revere). The double standard is appalling. I hope that some of the other conservative I monitor won't go there, but I fear for their souls as well.

Waterboarding is torture. So are a whole host of other "enhanced" interrogation techniques. These actions have ABSOLUTELY no place in a country supposedly dedicated to the rule of law. They are morally and religiously repugnant acts (their practice by the historical Catholic Church not withstanding). As such, there is no justification for their use other then revenge or unbridled evil masquerading as punishment. And to be clear - a government that tortures others will eventually begin to torture its own.

4 comments:

Thomas Joseph said...

And by historical we mean how many hundreds of years ago? Nevermind that you're painting an entire faith by the mad actions of a few.

Philip H. said...

Thomas,
I'm not painting an entire faith, though I do resent the many so-called Christians who are all to eager to exact their pound of flesh through torture. Rather, I am saying that even churchs and religions (supposed bastians of morality to some) have don ethese evil things. There is nothing inherently wrogn with likening the torture of alleged terrorists (who now likely will not be tried in any court because o fthe torture) to the despicable actions of the Catholic Church in the Inquisition. Nor should there be anything wrong with comparing our actions with any other religious group that has carried atrocities.

And as to apinting, since I'm for preserving the rule of law by prosecuting any and all who knowingly violated the Convention against torture, I am painted as all manner of unholy unAmerican things by commentators on the Right. It cuts both ways.

Thomas Joseph said...

If the best you can do is go back a few hundred years, then that's saying something.

Oddly enough, when liberals like Jon Stewart want to rewrite history by calling Truman a war criminal for dropping the bomb on Japan, there is a strange push to constantly remind opponents to key liberal principles of their own history.

Are these the spoils of war?

Philip H. said...

Thomas,
In my mind the difference between Truman, who I do not consider a war criminal FWIW, and Mr. Bush, who may in fact be a felon, tought not a war criminal, is this: the A-Bomb was dropped on cities with military and civilian targets, with the express aim of ending hostilities by an armed force operating under and official war declaration. Waterboarding, in contrast, was used on selected detainees, who wer ein a prison setting but without rights, in violation of two major international treaties which our Constitution makes the highest law of the land; all absent said declaration of war.