No I Would Not Order Torture, Even With The Ticking Bomb Scenario

(noon. – promoted by ek hornbeck)

The Dog is off at a week of training so the intent was not to post this week. However there are times when the need to speak out clearly against something as heinous as torture overrides the best of intentions.

This is going to be short and to the point. This week we are seeing Lynn Cheney and other torture apologists trotting out the most extreme of ticking time bomb scenarios. So, at the risk of being very short (a rarity for the Dog) here is the meat of this dairy:

If I had Khalid Sheik Mohammed in custody, and there was reason to believe that he knew of a plot that would surely kill the Dog’s family, his Mom, Step Dad, Sisters, Wife, Nephews and Niece, the Dog would NOT order him tortured.  This is true even if there were any evidence that torture would work. This is true even if the Dog were to be included in the list of people who would surely die.

Everyone loves their family, everyone loves their lives and would like to have it continue, but it is not an unreasoning desire. There are, in fact things which are more important them my family, or even my life. One of them is the idea that our nation has a set of ideals we will hold to, even in the face of extreme danger. This is an ideal which inspires the Dog to public service, even though it is a job the public rarely thanks you for. If you will not live up to your ideals in the face of extreme adversity, then they are not ideals, they are merely luxuries you will abandon whenever it becomes to hard.

This is what the Torture Apologists are saying. They do not care to have any character, they have no resolve, and they will abandon any pretense of ethics or morality out of fear, and do it instantly.

Now, the Dog does not expect everyone to feel the same way he does. Even on a Liberal blog like this there will be those who would value their family over the ideals of their nation. This is understandable, how lucky for all of us that this scenario which the Torture Apologists trot out is in no way close to reality. There is no way to know if the person you hold would have the information which would prevent the attack they describe. There is no way to if the information you tortured out of them would be accurate or would send your resources in the wrong directions. There is, in fact, no way to know accurately enough that there would be an attack to make this pretense of justifying torture. It is a silly fallacy which is thrown up to try to put those of us who will not sanction torture in a box.

The thing is, for the Dog, there is no box.

The floor is yours.  


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  1. statements, but I think it needed to be said.  

  2. It’s bunk.  

    But, am glad someone else feels like I do; torture is wrong… period.

  3. sorta? I mean it is versus Rule of King I guess, but on another level…I have the sense that Laws are…laws and established as such b/c we know that our emotions dominate and take over when its “ME” who is the Victim, in any given scenario.

    I got very annoyed today, late afternoon, after a thoroughly annoying News day already, when I saw some of Hardball, and Chris Matthews (doofus) fell right into the Guest pitching the stupid Ticking Bomb bit. Poor whatsername from Salon couldnt get a word in edgewise…. when she finally did, she said basically the right things, but I… of course… was yelling REALLY LOUD at my teevee, at them, “Didnt any of you hear Soufan’s testimony in today’s Hearing?!” sheesh.

    Glad to hear youre busy at a Training, Dog, I kinda wondered where you’d trotted off to. 🙂

  4. comment I left at DailyKos so I’ll just say: if it’s a good idea to torture in a ticking time bomb scenario, and we tortured to find a link between Hussein and al Qaeda, and we tortured just as a test on a couple people and for various other reasons, why, when the president talked about mushroom clouds, nukes and chemical and biological weapons, why did we not torture a single person to find them?

    We even tortured people who were already talking, and giving up information about dirty bomb plots before the torture started… then we couldn’t use those confessions at trial because they were obtained through torture. So some dirty bomb plots never resulted in charges.  

  5. the most effective propaganda that the TV of mass destruction has ever come up with. Ticking time bombs are always ticking somewhere and usually they are the ones we have seeded in foreign lands where the people who live get blown to smithereens instead of the terrorists. Every regime that seeks to be the biggest boss, rule the world, needs a foil, a Goldstien, a Bin Laudin, a evil to combat and justify their aggression and inhumanity.

    Valuing your family would IMHO mean trying to protect the laws of humanity that in turn protect families and people. It would also mean that the family of man is a extension your own. Common laws were developed after centuries of having real terror in the form of tyranny disguised as protecting your family, your way of life, rob all families of their basic human rights. To say nothing of the fact that they intend to use your children as cannon fodder for their endless war on those who oppose their agenda.  

    The chances of a terrorist coming out of your sewer pipe in surburanland are pretty slim. hysteria misdirected. As for the box they want to put me in will they throw in insects? I’m sure if they did I would confess to being a disgusted lefty who knew that terrorism is caused by putting people in boxes of misery for the security of no one, and profit for the few.        

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