The United States Tortured and It Was Wrong


(I’ve been meaning to do a post on the Senate’s released torture report, so I thought I’d pull together some meandering musings from a Facebook and wrestling message board post. Edited for clarity.)

The argument seems to be that we need to torture because not torturing is akin to trying to fight “the enemy” with our hand tied behind our back. They’re fighting without scruples, why can’t we? Because that’s the whole point! That’s the foundation of morality (and to a lesser extent, the law); that we make the choice to be better and to act better, lest we are no different than the ones we claim to fight for some grandiose purpose, which ultimately would make that purpose hollow if it was defended or obtained through dirty means, anyway.

Who cares what the opposition is doing? What makes us any different than them if we get dirtier or as dirty as them to stop them? Is our measuring stick really what Iran or China is doing? Oh, they’re electrocuting a man’s testicles? We’re only drowning them, back off!

One of the saddest reflections of the government’s power over people is their ability to make otherwise good people defend (and vehemently so) its disgusting behavior and actions and especially coming from conservatives that in theory/rhetoric detest big government, but torture is big government in action.

I really want to understand the conservative mindset. Why does the conservative want to give the government the authority to not only torture another human being (who is likely innocent), but then trust them to be transparent and accountable about that, if the conservative even desire those two things (and going by their opposition to the release of the torture report, it seems that’s a “no”)? I personally have no interesting in the dick waving of governments and their spy agencies. I’d abolish the CIA. But I’d abolish the government in my ideal world, so. Dammit, I’m one of those idiots.

But no, seriously. Even taking the moral question out of it, which is the only question, it’s illegal. It’s illegal by the standards we crafted. But somehow because “we’re doing it,” it makes it okay. As if we have some higher moral ground in which to be dirty. We don’t.

Even taking the legal question out of it, as an aside because it means nothing to me to the moral (or lesser legal) question, it’s not even effective. And just like any big government program, the government is not very good at allocating torture. As in, they torture the wrong people.

Let’s apply the first paragraph’s logic in other areas because the logic applied is that we have to fight dirty because they fight dirty.

I mean, we could greatly, greatly reduce crime if we turned the United States into a full-on police state and allowed the police to operate on the same playing level as the criminals (as in, no rules)…Wait, they already do. Bad example…

George W. Bush, Dick Cheney

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