Free Dartmouth
 
  home  
  join
9/24/2006 10:34:00 AM | Timothy

On Torture
Amen to this post.

Also: See no evil...

And I am aghast that Democratic Senator Carl Levin is praising Graham, McCain, and Warner for their "compromise". Levin is democratic heavyweight on defense issues. I guess this is the very-loyal not-so-much-in-opposition.

And we have Time Magazine's blog of the year saying that McCain and crew are for "terrorist rights". Sure, just like the right to a fair trial simply protects "criminal rights". And how about human rights? I guess big government conservatives now trust authority.

Digby writes:
People and societies don't just wake up one morning to find they no longer recognize themselves. It's a process. And we are in the process in this country of "defining deviancy down" in ways I never thought possible. We are legitimizing torture and indefinite detention --- saying that we will only do this to the people who really deserve it. One cannot help but wonder what "really deserves it" will mean in the years to come as we fight our endless war against terror.

Sure, right now it's just a bunch of foreigners and I guess we don't feel foreigners are entitled to basic human rights. They must not be human --- or at least not as human as "we" are. When you think about it, who knows who "we" are either? Right wingers make millions of dollars writing books about how liberals are godless, death-loving, traitors within. Many people who read those books probably believe these liberals are only one step away from being sub-human too ---- they are, after all, godless traitors.

But as the soviet experience shows, anyone can be defined as such sub-humans and at some point it usually comes around to catch even the people who wrote the original tales of godless, death-loving traitors within. I don't know why --- maybe it's a kill the messenger thing.
Digby also says:
I have written often about how the Republicans are becoming what they railed against for decades: totalitarians. Unsurprisingly I suppose, it turns out that what they really hated about Soviet communism was the economics. The 50 years of ranting about personal liberty and anti-authoritarian government seems to have been mere political rhetoric. Now that they are in power themselves they have adopted certain Soviet values quite seamlessly.
Digby links to this article by a former Soviet dissident:
So, why would democratically elected leaders of the United States ever want to legalize what a succession of Russian monarchs strove to abolish? Why run the risk of unleashing a fury that even Stalin had problems controlling? Why would anyone try to "improve intelligence-gathering capability" by destroying what was left of it? Frustration? Ineptitude? Ignorance? Or, has their friendship with a certain former KGB lieutenant colonel, V. Putin, rubbed off on the American leaders? I have no answer to these questions, but I do know that if Vice President Cheney is right and that some "cruel, inhumane or degrading" (CID) treatment of captives is a necessary tool for winning the war on terrorism, then the war is lost already.
[...]
If America's leaders want to hunt terrorists while transforming dictatorships into democracies, they must recognize that torture, which includes CID, has historically been an instrument of oppression -- not an instrument of investigation or of intelligence gathering. No country needs to invent how to "legalize" torture; the problem is rather how to stop it from happening. If it isn't stopped, torture will destroy your nation's important strategy to develop democracy in the Middle East. And if you cynically outsource torture to contractors and foreign agents, how can you possibly be surprised if an 18-year-old in the Middle East casts a jaundiced eye toward your reform efforts there?

Finally, think what effect your attitude has on the rest of the world, particularly in the countries where torture is still common, such as Russia, and where its citizens are still trying to combat it. Mr. Putin will be the first to say: "You see, even your vaunted American democracy cannot defend itself without resorting to torture. . . . "


Update: Why ex-military brass are against torture.



Links to this post:

Create a Link

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

Dartmouth
The Free Press

Alums for Social Change
The Green Magazine
The Dartmouth
Dartmouth Observer
Dartmouth Review
Dartlog
Inner Office
The Little Green Blog
Welton Chang's Blog
Vox in Sox
MN Publius (Matthew Martin)
Netblitz
Dartmouth Official News

Other Blogs
Ampersand

Atrios
Arts & Letters
Altercation
Body and Soul
Blog For America
Brad DeLong
Brad Plumer
CalPundit
Campus Nonsense
Clarksphere
Crooked Timber
Cursor
Daily Kos
Dean Nation
Dan Drezner
The Front Line
Instapundit
Interesting Times
Is That Legal?
Talking Points Memo
Lady-Likely
Lawrence Lessig
Lean Left
Left2Right
Legal Theory
Matthew Yglesias
Ms. Musings
MWO
Nathan Newman
New Republic's &c.
Not Geniuses
Ornicus
Oxblog
Pandagon
Political State Report
Political Theory Daily Review
Queer Day
Roger Ailes
SCOTUS blog
Talk Left
TAPPED
Tacitus
This Modern World
Tough Democrat
Untelevised
Volokh Conspiracy
Washington Note
X. & Overboard

Magazines, Newspapers and Journals
Boston Globe Ideas
Boston Review
Chronicle of Higher Education
Common Dreams
Dissent
In These Times
Mother Jones
New York Review of Books
New York Times
Salon
Slate
The American Prospect
The Nation
The New Republic
The Progressive
Tikkun
Tom Paine
Village Voice
Washington Monthly

Capitol Hill Media
ABC's The Note
American Journalism Review
Columbia Journalism Review
CQ
Daily Howler
Donkey Rising
The Hill
Medianews
National Journal
NJ Hotline
NJ Wake-up call
NJ Early Bird
NJ Weekly
Political Wire
Roll Call
Spinsanity

Search
Search the DFP

www.blogwise.com
Powered by Blogger

The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of Dartmouth College or the Dartmouth Free Press.