Monday, October 08, 2007


Torture Test


If you would condone torture in its most horrible state, then you would condone it in lesser torture states. The ultimate test has ever been the "Ticking Time Bomb Scenario", where you have a prisoner whose credentials and personal data indicate he would know of the location of a bomb about to explode. Time is of the essence, else a million citizens will probably be killed by the bomb, and more millions injured. Would you use any methods available to break this prisoner rapidly and save the millions of citizens, or not? Slick Willie said he would. This means he would most likely advise Hillary to do the same, were they in the White House again.

So what would you do?

The scenario has either occurred before or it hasn't. If it has, we may not know of it for many reasons. If it hasn't occurred before, that is no reason to say it won't occur in the future. If it does occur, then what will be the right response?

To call it made-for-TV or ignorant does not do away with this possibility at all. To say that it is false because the person would be able to hold out for long enough is to evade the question again. One does not know how long a subject can last in advance, especially against fiendish tortures of the past over days and days. Thus, that is no reason to avoid the question of: should we, or shouldn't we?

It does point to the sharpness of the question that some would try to sweep it under the rug with an ignorant flourish of their pen. So when it does appear, we won't react even so far as to consider the question! How very foolish, and how dishonest!



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