Torture Round-Up

The other blog has been chock-a-block with torture posts, so I’d thought I’d post up a few links here. There’s other stuff to talk about, too. I flayed Obama’s national service initiative yesterday.

  • One of the problems with arguing torture is that its defenders are a moving target. It wasn’t torture; it worked; it was only done a few times. One of the reasons I put up so many posts at RTFLC is because I feel like I”m playing whack-a-mole. Every time I beat down an argument – for example, showing waterboarding *is* torture, another one pops up. Sullivan gets to the heart of why this is — the torture defenders are rationalizing past behavior. They’re not laying out principles for future policy but find an argument — any argument — to support their war crimes.
  • One twisted defense of Bush I’m getting tired of is the argument that releasing the torture memos hurts the US our gives away our game plan (a game plan they insist we never really had). I’m curious what they would like. Do they think the US is better off if our torture program is define by the ravings of leftists, the statements of ex-detainees and a thunderous silence from Washington? Silence simply invites people to imagine the worst case scenario.
  • As long as the Right defends torture by bashing its critics as “leftists”, “Right Wing” will be synonymous with torture. There are plenty of conservatives who oppose torture — just not many Bush disciples.
  • If Obama is serious about holding people accountable, then he needs to remove every Congressman and Senator who approved these techniques from senior positions in Congress. I’d start with Nancy Pelosi. Anyone who approved torture should not be third in line for the Presidency.
  • A US soldier killed herself rather than torture. How many of our troops — that Bush supported — are bearing the psychological scars of what our President ordered over their wishes?