WHY NOT TORTURE?
Here's the answer.
The historically perfected use of torture, as we all know by now, has been in the producing of false confessions, be they of heresy, witchcraft, or political treachery. So imagine this: by some sort of horrible twist of fate, this country elects leaders of ill will. Maybe a delusional and paranoid vice-president (let's call him Dick) and a credulous and malleable president (any suggestions?) And what if they had certain questionable plans in mind, for concealed reasons, like, say, going to war against a country that was no threat to our security. (To be really outrageous, let's pretend they were both oil men, and the country in question had lots of oil. I know. I know. We're getting sort of science fictiony and conspiratorial here. But it's just for the purpose of making a point, okay? Bear with me.) Could it happen that, in order to gin up a plausible cover for their plan, they'd round up people and try to torture them into "revealing" a non-existent link between that country and, say (bear with me, again), a terrorist group?
A former U.S. Army psychiatrist, Maj. Charles Burney, told Army investigators in 2006 that interrogators at the Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, detention facility were under "pressure" to produce evidence of ties between al Qaida and Iraq.
"While we were there a large part of the time we were focused on trying to establish a link between al Qaida and Iraq and we were not successful in establishing a link between al Qaida and Iraq," Burney told staff of the Army Inspector General. "The more frustrated people got in not being able to establish that link . . . there was more and more pressure to resort to measures that might produce more immediate results."
So, what's the big deal, the RWS™ and their apologist commenters on this blog might ask? None, I guess, as long as it's god-fearing and truth-telling and thoughtful leaders such as those recently departed. But can you imagine Barack Obama, that godless America-hating Nazi communist, getting his hands on a waterboard? Forcing some CEO to request regulating his industry?
Seriously. How close did we come to returning to the Spanish Inquisition? Close enough, I'd say, to be indistinguishable. If what we are learning about our use of torture and the potential consequences thereof isn't chilling to everyone -- even conservatives!! -- then the danger to our nation is even greater than my rantings imply. There are, we are told, many effective ways to elicit the truth from prisoners. Getting false confessions, for your own purposes? Like Pol Pot, like Torquemada, like Ho Chi Minh, like Stalin, like William Stoughton, like... For that, you need torture.
Trying to force desired answers whether true or not, in order to provide rationale to a predetermined and hidden agenda. Is there anything more potentially destructive to the foundations of democracy?
Seen in that light, ought it not be an entirely non-partisan issue?