…yet remain too widely unlearned or willfully ignored.
Officials use torture when they have already dehumanized their victims —- a witch is not a normal person, a “terrorist” is a beast —- when a government puts revenge before other goals, and when a sense of helplessness rules.
Promoting fear of the unknown enemy who must be exposed through torture gives officials a great sense of their own importance; and, because they can waterboard a suspect like Abu Zubaydah 83 times, they do have considerable power —- to inflict pain, not to obtain useful information. In the process, the torturers dehumanize themselves.
Leaving all moral qualms aside, are we to learn nothing from the experience of keen observers who have understood torture’s uselessness over the centuries? Source
Why and how is there still any public deliberation deeming any approving torture as a tool of the state even marginally credible?The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you can see.
– – Winston Churchill
And for those armchair Torquemadas who would still smugly or vengefully (and absent any record of proof, particularly of any sole or unique and testable, replicable value) tout that “torture worked” — well, slavery worked. Quite efficaciously for many centuries too, but the weight of its innate and central immorality, bigotry and wretched, corruptive maleficence properly cast it into obliteration as accepted practice.
As for Mr. Cheney, ye old scribe turns once more to Churchill:A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject.
The dangers and consequences of validating leadership, fomenting policy or upending and twisting universal, civilized illegalities into mandated practice under the banner of fanaticism are historically self-evident.
Update May 21: After listening to both speeches today, some quick thoughts.
Cheney: PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder) is real, and giving a wide banner labeled ‘credibility’ to an obvious untreated long-term PTSD sufferer to spout rabid, repetitive and one-dimensional points, many spun out of the flimsiest of data(if indeed any at all) does not serve to bolster nor advance any cogent argument. Indoctrination by fear is no less offesnive and repugnant than is indoctrination by force.
Obama: Quicker and more sure-footed progress is always made when standing on solid ground than when balancing on a high wire. The latter position is where he chose to perch too frequently. Splitting the difference on inalienable human rights affords no rights at all, merely a facade of same. Compromise on basic tenets of justice gives succor and viability to the unjustified.