01 May 2009

My last word on torture (maybe)

I will never understand how almost three-quarters of Americans, as a reported survey said today, can say that torture is ever justified. Never, never, never. I don't want to think that people I know and care about believe this, but I guess I have to accept it as true. I don't generally ask people this question, because it's painful to think that people I'm fond of believe torture is OK. Ever. I can't argue with people about this, any more than I could argue with someone who thought it was OK to execute people without due process or murder people on suspicion they did something wrong. Conduct like that is depraved; inherently immoral. So is torture. Always. (Not to mention illegal, always, under all circumstances, under in-force U.S. and International Law). The contrary view, to me, is just beyond the pale.

This is the same survey that found that a majority of those who attend religious services at least once a week think torture of "terror suspects" is "often" or "sometimes" justified. (As opposed to "seldom" or "never.") One third of mainline protestants (Presbyterian, Episcopal, Methodist, etc.) said "never." Only one third. Amazing. Have we truly become so callow? This isn't an intellectual thing. It's hard to see how people can have misunderstood the question.

Well, I say, 'never,' and it appalls me that it's even debatable. I happen to attend religious services once a week, too, but that's immaterial. The thing is, I just can't accept this. It's like a blight on our national soul. Maybe I'm naive, but I don't want to be convinced I'm overreacting. The hell with it. If that's someone's view, I just can't talk to them about it. I really want to believe we're better than this, and that we'll wake up as a nation and come to our senses soon. I hope and pray that this will happen.

If this offends you, good. You should be offended. Yes, I do indeed feel that strongly about this.

Concurring, if somewhat less emotional, views: Froomkin (WaPo) and Greenwald.

1 comment:

  1. For better or worse, though I think better, I'm a D.S. dittohead. Naw, we're both better than that. It's just that you save me from having to write the blog I'd be writing otherwise.
    Martin Booe


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