November 11, 2010

MS LITHWICK MISSES THE POINT:

Interrogation Nation: The baby steps that have taken the United States from decrying torture to celebrating it. (Dahlia Lithwick, Nov. 10, 2010, Slate)

In an America in which the former president can boast on television that he approved the water-boarding of U.S. prisoners, it can hardly be a shock that following a lengthy investigation, no criminal charges will be filed against those who destroyed the evidence of CIA abuse of prisoners Abu Zubaydah and Abd a-Rahim al-Nashiri. We keep waiting breathlessly for someone, somewhere, to have a day of reckoning over the prisoners we tortured in the wake of 9/11, without recognizing that there is no bag man to be found and that therefore we are all the bag man. [...]

Those of us who have been hollering about America's descent into torture for the past nine years didn't do so because we like terrorists or secretly hope for more terror attacks. We did it because if a nation is unable to decry something as always and deeply wrong, it has tacitly accepted it as sometimes and often right. Or, as President Bush now puts it, damn right.


As a people we decided that it would be always and deeply wrong not to waterboard a terrorist to obtain actionable intelligence and protect innocent lives. What's revealing is that she and her ilk don't actually make an argument against that. They just begin with the assertion that torture is always wrong.

Posted by Orrin Judd at November 11, 2010 5:26 AM
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