“The moral universe is not zero sum.” Chris Hayes, host of MSNBC’s All In, gets it.
“Now the appropriate response to this new what-aboutism is twofold. First, as a basic matter of both moral law and principle, killing enemies in combat is sometimes permissible. Torturing them, however, never is. The prohibition on torture is categorical.
In the American justice system, for example, you can sentence someone to death — though obviously I oppose that. You cannot sentence them to be tortured because torture occupies a special category of moral taboo.
The second response to these latter-day what-aboutists is more or less the same one I would suggest we give the Soviets. It’s true. Many aspects of this government’s targeted killing program — maybe the entire thing — are morally odious and constitutionally suspect. They deserve criticism — heck, they even deserve outrage, though I would note the people who devote outrage to them tend to be the people who devote outrage toward torture, like ACLU and Amnesty International, and not Fox News.
But that has no bearing whatsoever on whether it’s okay to pour water down someone’s nose until they foam at the mouth, to threaten to sexually abuse someone’s mother, or to anally rape someone with a feeding tube.
And only a moral idiot would fail to see that.
h/t karoli at Crooks and Liars for the partial transcript and this thought about what Chris’s “wisdom”:
Well, maybe he did include Scarborough in that rant through the back door. Because it’s obvious to anyone watching that Joe is indeed a moral idiot.