Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Morally Repugnant, Part II

It seems that my old friend Bill decided to respond to my previous post on this subject.

Ann already posted her reply.

I take this as a positive sign. At first, Bill had indicated to jimmyk that he would not respond at all. But it seems like he just could not resist. I think this might be the first time Bill has given me a link on his site since the little blow-up a while back when he began deleting all of my comments (and Ann’s) and stopped responding to my e-mail.

He is continuing to tout the one CIA officer’s claims as rock solid proof that torture works and ignores the contrary claims and the fact that the CIA officer can’t backup what he says with any specific examples.
Instead, he demands that Democrats “defend their policy of outlawing an interrogation technique that is: 1) reserved for the worst of the worst, and 2) saves lives...”

First off, when we take a “suspect” into captivity, we generally don’t even know for sure that they are guilty of anything, much less that they are the “worst of the worst.”
Secondly, the link that Bill provides for his next assertion that torture saves lives is little more than a rightwing blogger’s rant claiming that Khalid Sheik Muhammed deserved to be waterboarded because he was such a bad guy.

The man earned his waterboarding. He masterminded 9/11 on behalf of Osama bin Laden. He admits he beheaded Daniel Pearl.

As to that confession about Pearl, it came as welcome news to Ahmed Omar Saeed Sheikh who had already been arrested by Pakistani authorties and charged with Pearl’s murder. Now he is planning to use the Khalid confession in his appeal.

But Bill seems genuinely confused when he also reposts this bit:

ABC News reported: “A senior CIA official said KSM later admitted it was only because of the waterboarding that he talked.”

Bill seems to think this means that Khalid is crediting waterboarding with getting him to confess to a murder he actually did commit.
What that bit is really saying, however, is that Khalid now denies killing Pearl and says he only confessed to it because they were torturing him and he told them what they wanted to hear.

The fact that Bill can’t seem to make this distinction might explain his inability to understand why “liberals oppose waterboarding” (along with most every other decent American liberal or otherwise). He goes on to speculate that “even a liberal” would approve of waterboarding if there was a chance that it would save their family’s lives. But this is a ridiculous fantasy unlikely to ever occur outside a script for an episode of Fox’s “24.” And if we are suddenly going to say waterboarding is OK in that instance, is there ever a point where we would draw the line? Would you approve torturing the suspect’s wife and children if you thought it could “save the lives of your family”? What if someone held a gun to your family and threatened to kill them if you did not go out in the street and kill some random innocent person. Would you do it?
We cannot set policy based on such ridiculous and outrageous rightwing fantasy scenarios.

Bill then goes on to claim that I would be in favor of torturing people if a Democratic president were doing it and the only reason I’m not for it now is because it’s being done by Republicans.

...the real reason the Left opposes waterboarding is because the president is a Republican.  They'll pipe down if a Democrat wins the White House.

You mean like the far right piped down about immigration when a pro-immigration Republican president (Bush) was elected? Nonsense!
And no, it doesn’t change anything whether or not Nancy Pelosi failed to protest about waterboarding prior to 9/11. If the allegation is true, then I am disappointed in her. But regardless, at least she is on the right side now, which is more than can be said about most Republicans.

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