13 December 2014

No Excuse

Somehow, the idea that if the use of torture produces, "actionable intelligence" it is acceptable has slithered into the debate arising from the Senate report. I am appalled. Nothing in the national experience or the literature suggests that torture produces useful information, and yet there is one thing that has to be shouted: it does not matter. There is no advantage, none, that justifies this evil.

One of the many things Ayn Rand was wrong about is the simple fact is that there are actual moral norms. Some things, torture among them simply never can be acceptable. Ever! Immoral conduct does not become moral because we might gain some (illusory) advantage.

If I were younger, and thought anyone would take me, I would consider emigrating. A nation that uses evil we once condemned at Nuremberg, no longer deserves allegiance. A nation that protects former Vice-president Cheney is no nation of laws. I recall being told by "conservatives" that, "America is the moral actor in international affairs." No one can defend that proposition after this report.

This is what Cheney and the torturers have done. They captured no terrorists, made the country less secure, and taken giant steps towards the destruction of our democratic country. I fear that such destruction is precisely what the theocrats want. If this is not bad enough, the failure of the Obama administration to prosecute the evildoers and incredibly using the defense offered at Nuremberg, obeying orders, makes the stench worse.

Maybe it is time to paint the wagon.

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