Then, Why Not Torture?

· dKo journal, Edgewise, Paleoblogs

“[Sen. Allen] said the United States needs to interrogate terrorism suspects effectively. ‘I don’t want to stop these interrogations,’ he said. ‘I’m not for torture . . . but some of these techniques have been very helpful to us.'”
Article,” Washington Post.
DKo: Then why not torture? Wouldn’t those interrogations be even more effective? Wouldn’t those techniques be even more helpful?
These folks think the Geneva Conventions were naive. You have to make them talk, but you can’t even humiliate them? Absurd! Then how do you make them talk?
You don’t. The conventions didn’t naively miss the point; that is the point. For soldiers, it is “name, rank, and serial number.” For others, there is not even rank and serial number. That’s it.
Newsweek says: “The question is whether waterboarding, however effective, is torture…” No, that is not the question! You don’t get to make them talk.
Here’s a personal note to the national security people. You know, if you stop imprisoning and abusing thousands of innocents and functionaries and chauffeurs and Taliban government soldiers in Guantanamo, Kandahar, and elsewhere in the world, and if that legendary and so far entirely mythical case should arise where you beat someone up because a literal time-bomb is literally ticking, you might get some understanding. You might even get a pardon. Hell, Richard Nixon got a pardon! But please don’t pretend it’s legal.
Regarding torture, the advocates of “tough” interrogation have an ethical/political problem when they try to draw the line at torture. The Right to Life people are in a similar position when they allow for abortion in cases of rape and incest. Why draw that line? If abortion is murder, how can you murder this fetus, regardless of how it was conceived?
Senator Allen, like President Bush, says, “I’m not for torture.” But I suspect they are.