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I really hate that I spend so much time talking about this, but: there are so many crazies out there claiming that the revelation that torture "worked", by an extremely nebulous set of criteria, in the case of Abu Zubaydah, that one could be forgiven for thinking that the whole fucking point of the debate over torture hinged on whether or not torture is effective, rather than on whether or not it is right.

"Of course behaviorism works", W.H. Auden said; "So does torture." Of course, back then we were naïve enough to use torture as an illustration of something so reprehensible and harmful that we would never do it no matter how effective it might occasionally prove. Today we know better, and we have people who are running for president of the United States who are arguing that if we don't torture people, we're losing a valuable weapon against terrorism, which is slightly behind overexertion and falling off of a bicycle as a cause of death in the United States.

It's easy to stop crime, folks: all you have to do is kill all the criminals.

Comments

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kudaspeaks
Dec. 12th, 2007 07:47 pm (UTC)
If you take away the government's Malleus Maleficarum, the witches win. You are objectively pro-hex and anti-freedom.
perich
Dec. 12th, 2007 07:51 pm (UTC)
The fact that waterboarding is even a matter of public debate can be taken as evidence of how dumb this administration is. The U.S. has been seizing foreign citizens through covert actions, locking them in dank holes without hope of succor, and doing things a lot worse to them than waterboarding for years. Every President since Truman knew about it.

But only the current C-in-C was dumb enough to think it was defensible.
archaica
Dec. 12th, 2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
It's terribly sad that people are even having this debate.
tritium
Dec. 12th, 2007 08:05 pm (UTC)
'Round these parts, there is a ritual where folks go up and practice academic talks in front of an audience, to get feedback and criticism. This is called a "torture chamber." It was named with the assumption that torture is, y'know, something that doesn't actually happen in a civilized society.
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Leonard Pierce is a freelance writer wandering around Texas with no sleep or sense of direction. If you give him money he will write something for you. If you are nice to him he may come to your house and get drunk.

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