by John Hawkins | January 11, 2005 6:30 am
Here’s my view of using “torture” in a nutshelll…
1) A state of war needs to exist as a precursor.
2) The Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment, so even if we’re talking about someone like John Walker Lindh who has switched sides, “torture” isn’t an option for American citizens.
3) You have to consider the political implications of what you’re doing and how the media will treat it if word gets out. Regrettably, since the Democrats are trying to score political points by calling everything up to not giving a member of Al-Qaeda enough milk with his Fruit Loops “torture,” our men have been handcuffed in what they can do in interrogations.
Of course, that means American soldiers and Iraqi civilians are dying for lack of the information that those interrogations could provide and all so that Democrats like Ted Kennedy & Joe Biden can try to get fawning mentions in the press. I guess everybody “supports the troops” in their own way, huh?
4) Some people might bring up the Geneva Convention at this point, but since no nation we’ve ever fought has abided by it and since it was never intended to apply to non-uniformed terrorists who deliberately murder civilians, I’d say it’s irrelevant to the war on terrorism.
5) Normally, we might not use some interrogation techniques on our enemies out of fear that the same would be done to our men. In other words, we’d follow the “Golden Rule” when it comes to torture. However, we’re fighting terrorists who promise nothing but beheading when they capture our men, so again, this issue us turning out to be largely irrelevant.
6) The last and most important point is simply what our own morals will allow us to do to other human beings in a time of war. The naked piggy piles, sexual molestation, and S&M show put on by those deviant National Guardsmen? No, that’s just not something American soldiers should be involved in.
What about real “torture”? Only in the admittedly rare sort of situation that I discussed yesterday, where you have a terrorist who has details about an imminent attack, would I acquiesce to injuring a captive in order to get information.
On the other hand, I have no ethical problem, given what I’ve already said in 1-5, with a lot of the things that are being erroneously referred to as “torture”. I’m talking about things like hooding prisoners, taking away the Koran, manipulating diets, loud music, shaving beards, isolation, threatening (not attacking) them with dogs, sleep deprivation, waterboarding, stress positions…I approve of our troops doing those things to get information from “insurgents”/terrorists.
Think that’s too tough of a policy? Well, remember that breaking suspects may mean stopping terrorist attacks and saving the lives of American soldiers, Iraqi civilians, or maybe even preventing the next 9/11. In my view, that’s worth it…
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