Saturday, November 05, 2005

Is Torture a Reasonable Tactic?

Colossus posted an intriguing challenge to indict torture, which got me really thinking about the issue for the first time. I haven't been against it until now, but some reading I've been doing juxtaposed with reflections on the pros Colossus puts forward make the issue very clear for me.

The original post I responded to is here, and today's continuation is here. Take Colossus's side or take mine, or stake out your own position. This one's way better than the standard trolly-derailment conundrum of switching the trolly to a track that will kill one man in order to prevent it from careening on a death mission toward five other people.

Cross-posted at the Guide.

Update: A reader points out that torture needs to be defined. For our purposes, the discussion is focused on this part of the standard definition:
-Infliction of severe physical pain as a means of coercion to gain information.
-An instrument or a method for inflicting such pain.

3 Comments:

At 6:10 PM, Anonymous RoCkY mTn. LiOnEsS said...

How many times do you think the Home Depot "loo glued bum" guy has been called "Sticky Buns"?

That story also gives new meaning to the term: "tight a$$!"

As for the "torture" thread/issue [I ain't got time to go there]......Since the "ANTI's" (anti-war, Bush, r,GOP, conserves, humor, bathing, logic, facts, etc......)haven't expressed much--if any-- opposition to beheading, perhaps that's an acceptable "torture" for information tactic...? Well, I s'pose only acceptable for the poor, misunderstood, oppressed, religion of peace advocate islamucks.

Heck, I forgot which thread I'm posting to now! Aiy yai yai!

HI KJ! (& No Gov't Cheese Posse)

 
At 12:16 PM, Anonymous Cricket said...

KJ,
I see torture as being relative to what you want to accomplish and having to get the information to do it.

Does the end justify the means? No. However, we do manipulate things a bit here and there to get what we need to do what we need to do.

I believe that if we behave with honor in ALL our doings, that it will pay off in the long run. Torture doesn't have to be a part of it, but you will always have some bleeding heart screeching that even making them chilly at night
so they need an extra blanket (and get it)is going too far.

Humane treatment is the best for us all, I think. But you will still have dorks who lie.

 
At 4:10 PM, Blogger Cassandra said...

The problem, I think, is that we have not really defined torture, as Cat pointed out.

And also that, like poverty, torture is always going to be an evolving standard. What we think of as torture today may not be torture tomorrow. And it will of necessity change according to how badly, unfortunately, we want to know something.

The lack of clarity in what Congress just did is truly shocking. Abu Ghuraib did not happen because we did not have the Army Field manual as our nation law on torture. The Army Field manual was ALREADY in place. We ALREADY had rules. Anyone who says otherwise is lying.

Those people were tortured for two reasons:

1. People break rules.

2. The necessary supervision was not in place when it needed to be.

Putting *more* rules in place will not change either of those conditions. Making a bad law will not change that either. What it will do is tie the hands of the Executive branch to an evolving standard that is re-written by some captain without legal or legislative oversight.

That is what our lawmakers just decided. Courtesy of that great lawaking and ethical mind, John McCain. What an asshat.

 

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