Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


On Torture

I sometimes feel that I have nothing to add to the “debate” around torture, other than the formerly-obvious “torture is ineffective and morally repugnant.” Nevertheless, I feel that keeping silent, or even allowing the debate to occur without adding my voice to the chorus of reason. So, some others’ posts this past week:

  • In Jack Balkin’s “Luban and the real debate about torture” he first excerpt from David Luban’s article (“Torture, American-Style“) in today’s Washington Post, then goes on to extensively explain and then dissect the Bush administration’s position:

    Luban’s article is a helpful corrective to a debate that Administration officials– including the President of the United States– have repeatedly and willfully confused with their Orwellian doublespeak. They have tortured the English language so they can treat others cruelly. We shouldn’t let them get away with either practice.

  • Jim MacDonald quotes General and Secretary of State Colin Powell; Admiral Stansfield Turner, former head of the CIA; 39 year CIA veteran and Moscow station head Burton L. Gerber. Quoting MacDonald’s summary of Tortuous Thinking:

    So the question remains: Why is the Bush White House so strongly in favor of torture that they’re threatening to veto a defense appropriations bill that merely reaffirms the policies that are supposed to be already in place? Why do they want a policy in place that not only diminishes America’s international prestige, not only makes the job of gathering intelligence more difficult, not only betrays our national values, but in practical terms flat doesn’t work?

  • At Flogging the Simian, Soj has been translating European press articles on the CIA’s secret jails into English: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8.

    (Unfortunately, FTS displays much better with Javascript turned on. Without that, the sidebars are way too big in Safari.)

One comment on "On Torture"

  • beri says:

    Am I the only one who finds it ironic that the US is putting Saddam Hussein on trial for crimes against humanity? One of those crimes is the use of torture against civilians. Since the US has now made it official policy taht WE are allowed to torture civilians, or in fact anyone we can get our hands on, how can we accuse him of a crime?

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