Wednesday, 26 October 2005

They Just Don't Get It

Our Vice President can't let go of the idea that torture stay on the table as a weapon against terrorism. Facing an explicit ban on torture, passed by the Senate by a 90-9 vote, Cheney and CIA director Porter Goss met with Senator McCain in a last ditch effort to exclude from the torture ban clandestine counterterrorism operations overseas by agencies other than the Pentagon "if the president determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack."

Proponents of such exceptions like to dream up hypothetical situations in which torture might be the leverage needed to extract information that could directly avert an act of terrorism. The problem is that information thus obtained is unlikely to be any more correct than what could be obtained otherwise. Furthermore these exceptions never are confined to such hypothetical cases, but are left to the discretion of those who have the power. Having such power inevitably leads to abuse and creates a culture of acceptance for the unacceptable.

Have we learned nothing from Abu Ghraib?

Washington Post editorial

[UPDATE: Far better than the Washington Post editorial, I just found this excellent posting by the Doctor over at]

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