Saturday, December 13, 2014

Torture is a crime

  Torture is exrtremely deviant behavior and must never be used.  The American government, acting at the behest of the President and the Attorney General, approved the use of torture and employed a variety of methods of torture on prisoners.
The Government deliberately made torture legal by calling it "enhanced interrogation techniques."
Unless this policy is officially condemned and unless the principals are prosecuted, or at least, censured, our nation will never be the same.  It will exist but with a cancerous shame deep within the national soul.  We will be saying to the world and to future generations that the "exceptional" country, the "indispensable" country, the "shining city on the hill" is a fraud. 

Lawlessness is now officially approved.   Future Presidents have legal precedent to follow.  Other nations may follow our lead.  Our lectures on human rights will be hollow. 
This is the path to self-destruction.

In 1993 Daniel Patrick Moynihan published an essay titled "Defining Deviancy Down."  In this essay Moynihan deplored the changing social standards of the American people, breaking this into three categories: altruistic, opportunistic, and normalizing.
The normalizing of crime, the acceptance of crime had become a serious problem and Moynihan quotes Judge Edwin Torres of the New York State Supreme Court who said "The numbness, the near narcoleptic state can diminish the human condition to the level of combat infantrymen who, in protracted campaigns, can eat their battlefield rations seated on the bodies of the fallen,  friend and foe alike.  The society that loses its sense of outrage is doomed to extinction."

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

On The Subject of Torture

I'm recycling this post from May 2009:

When I read the comments by former Vice-President Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, Charles Krauthammer, et al, on torture and its good uses, I like to recall some wisdom from the writings of Simone Weil:

"Evil when we are in its power is not felt as evil but as a necessity, or even a duty."