Sunday, April 26, 2009

a tortured scenario

Ex-CIA agent and Osama Bin Laden expert Michael Scheuer resorts to a scenario worthy of an episode of 24 to criticize the Obama Administration for revealing the torture memos. Scheuer says when we have Bin Laden in our grasps and a bunch of nukes are about to go off in American cities, we will just have to say "shucks, hope they don't nuke my home town" because nobody will torture Bin Laden.

This fanciful scenario ignores a few things. It ignores the unlikelihood of Al Qaeda getting nukes they can use. It ignores the unlikelihood of us getting Bin Laden or anybody else as the proverbial fuse burns. It ignores the problem that information gained through torture is not always true - if Bin Laden after being waterboarded for the 37th time in a day says "praise Allah, we will blow up Kansas City on Thursday," why the hell would ANY person BELIEVE him?

Scheuer should know better.

Also on torture, Frank Rich on the banality of evil, Bush-Administration-style.

And Kathleen Parker (hardly a leftist) notes correctly that if you have to ask, "is this torture" it probably is. On the memos, Parker writes: Most important, we can hardly present ourselves as arbiters and protectors of human rights when we selectively abuse those in our custody, no matter how compelling our cause. When we parse definitions of "mental pain" and "suffering," we begin to slip down the slope of moral ambiguity where deceit finds company among the dead.



Post a Comment

<< Home