Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Madness of Torture

On occasions to numerous to count, Charles Krauthammer has stated the Government hasn't the ability to oversee anything to do with health care, even though it has been administering Medicare for decades, while doing it 14% more efficient then Medicare Advantage, the private option which thankfully will be cut by the impending health care legislation.

But it is what Mr. Krauthammer thinks the Government can control that is so interesting to me and many who think any type of law governing torture is ridiculous. Krauthammer makes an eloquent argument for reasons why torture is acceptable. He states reasons that nobody can argue with, not even John McCain would refute what he wrote. But it is what he didn't write that needs to be explained to us if we are to support a torture agenda.

Andrew Sullivan of the Daily Dish put it best.

The truly naive are the Krauthammers and Thiessens and McCarthys who seem to believe - against all history and human nature - that torture can be controlled, that it can be sealed within a very tight box, used only by good people, never abused, never allowed to spread. But this has never happened. We know very well from brutal historical experience that the power to torture even one personalways metastasizes. And we have seen it with our naked eyes in America. What was Abu Ghraib if it wasn't proof that orders to torture from the very top instantly spread through the system so that a handful of torture victims becomes hundreds in a matter of weeks; when torture is allowed the CIA and the military, it instantly spreads, as we have seen, to every theater of war, to every branch of the armed services, from Navy SEALS to special ops guys openly torturing mere suspects under the watch of Stanley McChrystal.

Krauthammer has driven into our heads for the past 8-10 months that the Government could not possibly handle something as important as health care, yet we are supposed to follow the Government "lock step" into a national torture policy? one that we can handle because we are inherently good. No, Medicare could not possibly administer "end of life" counseling, but our Government and Military Leaders will be wonderful stewards when it comes to torture? really? Just think where a torture policy or law could lead. "well it's okay over seas and we think this guy knows where that little girl is in Knoxville" "lets water-board him or hook his nipples to a car battery" Do you see where this could lead? What about the people we torture that are innocent? Can anyone say Slippery-Slope.

Lets review, There has never been a civilization that has employed an ethical torture policy. They have all been corrupted by over-stepping their original bounds. (recent U.S. policy included) In addition there are plenty of proven non-torture methods. So why is this such a hot-button issue? Let me give you an excerpt from my favorite talking head Glenn Beck.

I'm sick and tired of the spineless weasels who've never fought a war or run a business but keep trying to tell people how to fight wars and run businesses.

Let's be clear: The president has to make decisions that most people don't even want to think about. Do you know if waterboarding is torture? The president must. He has to make the tough calls and then the people who actually fight wars need to be left alone to do their job and stand by what they've done, no matter what the consequences.

We need Jack Bauer. Here's what he said when he was asked if he tortured a suspect:


ACTOR KIEFER SUTHERLAND AS JACK BAUER:Senator, why don't I save you some time: It's obvious that your agenda is to discredit CTU and generate a series of...

ACTOR KURTWOOD SMITH AS SENATOR BLAINE MAYER: My only agenda is to get to the truth.

BAUER: I don't think it is, sir.

SEN. MAYER: Excuse me?

BAUER: Ibrahim Haddad had targeted a bus train of 45 people, 10 of which were children. The truth, Senator, is I stopped that attack from happening.

SEN. MAYER: By torturing Mr. Haddad.

BAUER: By doing what I deemed necessary to protect innocent lives.

SEN. MAYER: So basically what you're saying, Mr. Bauer, is that the ends justify the means and that you are above the law.

BAUER: When I am activated, when I am brought into a situation, there is a reason and that reason is to complete the objectives of my mission at all costs.


No, actually we need Oliver North:


COL. OLIVER NORTH: I told you that I was going to tell it to you — the good, the bad and the ugly. Some of it has been ugly for me. I don't know how many other witnesses have gone through the ordeal that I have before arriving here and seen their names smeared all over the newspapers and by some members of this committee, but I committed when I raised my right hand took and oath as a midshipman that I would tell the truth and I took an oath when I arrived before this committee to tell the truth and I have done so, painful though it may be for me and for others.


Where is that honor today?

The ultimate neanderthal quotes the television show 24, and its hero Jack Bauer in defense of torture. Are you f-ing kidding me? The fact of the matter is, his rhetoric plays well with what I call the "mouth breather" crowd, who believe that every other minute somebody needs to be tortured to save the United States from utter doom, and why every movie today has to have a car chase or full frontal nudity. These people do not need to set policy of any type.

Back to Krauthammer, although we don't agree politically very often, I have respect for the man and his views. He is a decorated journalist who is respected by many of his peers, usually he makes a very good case when it comes to the political ideology he backs. I just hope his torture stance is not a strange way to gain favor with the Glenn Beck crowd and therefore a larger following. If so his first visit on Becks show may look like a clip from one of my favorite movies. Can you imagine the ratings?

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