Thursday, June 24, 2004

Speak no evil

"A House committee voted Wednesday to bar the Justice Department from issuing legal justifications for the U.S. use of torture in the latest congressional reaction to government memos that seemed to permit the practice."

Besides attempting to restrict what the nation's attorneys are allowed to research and present legal opinions and meddling in the functioning of an equal branch of government, this strikes me as just plain stupid. Decision makers need to know their options, even if some of them might be morally repugnant. I think that if it was legal to kill terrorists, or to hand them over to the Iraqis, Saudis, Pakistanis, etc., it seems goofy to say that they must be treated with kid gloves when they're captured. They should be treated as dead men from the moment they're captured and treated accordingly.

If we had a mind probe that allowed us to gain information from a person's brain, but left him a drooling idiot, I'd say use it on a prison like Khalid Sheik Mohammed.

Since we don't have such devices, I'm opposed to torture involving infliction of physical suffering, both because of the unreliability of such techniques, which are only good for compelling to confessions written by the captors. It also dehumanizes the people doing the torturing.


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