“I have said repeatedly that America doesn’t torture, and I’m going to make sure that we don’t torture,” Obama said Sunday on CBS'”60 Minutes.””Those are part and parcel of an effort to regain America’s moral stature in the world.”
My view is that first, we don’t want to tie the hands of our military. If a little “torture” could prevent the imminent death of millions, I’m all for it. Personally, even if we outlawed ALL “torture” I wouldn’t want the world to know it. I like the fact that the bad guys might be careful what they do lest big bad George haul them off to some black hole in some foreign country.
But just labeling something “torture” as Obama did begs the issue. Is waterboarding torture? Our military does it to our own troops, so I don’t see how any reasonable person could call it torture. Liberals just seem to assume that George Bush has authorized “torture” and they applaud Obama saying he will put a stop to it.
I think the “reasoning” behind opposition to torture is skewed. You hear “it does not work” and “America does not torture”–or variations of those themes–put forth as irrefutable proof that we shouldn’t torture. The former is almost laughable, and it seems self-evident to me that torture does work. Anyone could hold out and not provide info if they knew that the Americans were not going to hurt them. Conversely, almost no one could help themselves if they didn’t know what might happen to them if they didn’t tell. Especially if that uncertainty was backed up by a little heft. And the “America doesn’t torture” group is just a bunch of people sitting around arguing in the abstract from their safe little ivory towers. There are worse things than torture. Like nuking entire cities. America did that. Or firebombing entire cities. America did that. When it comes to war, and them killing us or us killing us, I’m all for the latter. Sure, we don’t want gratuitous torture of innocent civilians. We should keep a close watch on it, maybe even have an independent judge issue a warrant for it and only under certain extreme circumstances. We don’t want to go to extremes. But to unilaterally disarm ourselves and to let the other side know it is just stupid. It is not like the Islamic extremists are going to stop torturing our troops just because we agree to not torture theirs. A basic reason supporting the Geneva Convention was to protect our troops. You don’t torture ours, we won’t torture yours. But that doesn’t apply in this war, so quit whining about torture.