Archive for February 20th, 2010

If you keep killing terrorists we can’t torture them!

Feb 20, 2010 in Clueless Conservatives, Torture, War Crimes

I personally care about the innocents killed in Obama’s drone attacks, but rightwingers don’t, so his steady success rate in whacking terrorists and Taliban leaders (the two are not the same) is painting them into a corner on a stepladder:

“That doesn’t mean I think they are not illegitimate,” he added. “No, we have every right to kill the other side’s warriors. But at what cost? When we do not have an effective detention policy the only option we have is to kill them before we can detain them. And if we don’t detain them, we don’t know what they know and what they are up to.”

And the only way we can know what they know according to the right, despite all evidence, is torture.

Marc Thiessen’s attempt to justify torture as something consistent with Catholic doctrine, which specifically forbids torture, has been sparking a firestorm, on the Daily Dish and, shockingly, at National Review, where a writer named Mike Potemra has broken from the pack and admitted what anybody who wasn’t mainlining Republican doctrine already knew, that waterboarding is torture (the Washington Post’s shark-jumping addition of Thiessen to its op-ed page has been a story unto itself). Andrew Sullivan guides Potemra toward the obvious:

If an American merely suspected of being a spy were captured in Iran, if he were then shackled in a stress position for hours on end, if he were tied to a post in a yard in freezing conditions and regularly doused with cold water and beaten (as happened under Stanley McChrystal’s Camp Nama in Iraq), if he were slammed against a ply-wood wall repeatedly by a collar around his neck, if he were strapped to a waterboard and nearly drowned 183 times, and then confessed that he was indeed a spy, and was planning to sabotage Iran’s nuclear program, would the New York Times say he was subjected to “enhanced interrogation techniques” and that his confession roved that those techniques worked? Would National Review? Would Dick Cheney?

Look, Bush/Cheney introduced and legitimized torture, and it’s become part of the Republican Party’s plank. Intellectual honesty just doesn’t fit into their calculus anymore. It’s a pretty natural result of the rightwinger’s authoritarian lust for power and control. “Six of one, half dozen of the other!” so-called-centrists need to step off the balancing beam to Hell.