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View Diary: Updated: Why I Fight Against Torture: Part Four (104 comments)

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  •  Obama has made the U.S. less safe (6+ / 2-)

    You can't release the details of how Bush institutionalized torture and then tell the world it's all OK and nobody has to face any consequences.

    The next terrorist attack is now inevitable and it will be Obama's fault, because the terrorists now have legitimate moral reasons to undertake it.

    Obama's mistake.

    And there's only one thing he can do about it.

    •  So, if there is another attack... (5+ / 0-)

      it's Obama's fault because, why, again?

      I don't understand your line of reasoning. Maybe I don't want to.

      "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

      by RonV on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:00:14 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  He gave the terrorists the actual (0+ / 0-)

        documented proof of our country's legitimization of torture.

        Signed, sealed, and delivered.

        You can't do that unless you're willing to also do what's right, or you give the terrorists all the moral and ethical ammunition they need to do what they do.

        And if you don't think so, then take it up with George Washington.

        A terrorist is evil, until they have a legitimate moral mandate to do what they do that is acceptable to the majority of the people.

        The world would have overlooked what we did as simply the result of Bush's immorality. But now that we're excusing it, we've taken ownership of that immorality, and the ethical condemnation of our society by our "enemies" is entirely valid.

        Obama gave them that. He gave them proof that is beyond reproach... our own legal documents.

        •  I guess I just don't see... (0+ / 0-)

          A group of people (terrorists) with a set of stated grievances (legitimate or not) suddenly saying: "Oh goody, now we have the moral high ground (because of the torture/fail to prosecute situation) and the world will think better of us! Let's go destroy something."

          I don't see how that would work.

          In this case, there is no true moral high ground. Maybe varying degrees or something.

          Or that one level of immorality is necessarily better than the other?

          Or something... I don't know.

          "I was so easy to defeat, I was so easy to control, I didn't even know there was a war." -9.75, -8.41

          by RonV on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:19:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Then I think you misunderstand them. (0+ / 0-)

            This is about recruitment for them.

            The more people they can recruit, the more they can do.

            The more evidence they have of America's dirty secrets, the more they can recruit.

            And the clearcut certainty that there's no hope of longterm change wrt America's war and torture policies is an even bigger recruitment tool.

            Why would any Islamic person on the cusp between pushing for sensible political reform going to go in that direction rather than terrorism if they see no hope that even a black American president who's normalizing relations with Cuba won't change our longterm torture policy?

            Without hope, in my view it's only a matter of time before the next attack. And then the question will be how the terrorists justify it, how they explain it...

            and who is to blame for it.

            Or who at least the American public can be convinced is to blame for it.

            Do you think it's a hard sell for Republicans to make?

            That the release of America's dirty national secrets makes us less safe unless Obama is willing to do something about illegal activity?

            It's going to be a very easy sell for the GOP.

      •  Because he's an idiot. eom (0+ / 0-)

        "[R]ather high-minded, if not a bit self-referential"--The Washington Post.

        by Geekesque on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 05:09:20 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  That is actually a very astute observation. (6+ / 0-)

      And unfortunately I would have to agree. Although terrorists would create any justification for an attack this basically hands them one. And it removes any remaining moral high-ground we claim.

      The only way out is to do what the law requires which is prosecuting those responsible for torture.

      Don't EVER buy a Dell Computer.

      by jayden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:01:09 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  To be very clear here: (7+ / 0-)

        I am not saying I believe they actually would be justified. I do not. Terrorism is unjustifiable and unacceptable and so is torture.

        Don't EVER buy a Dell Computer.

        by jayden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:06:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  But I don't agree that it would be Obama's (0+ / 0-)

        "fault" as you describe if another attack occurred. It would be Obama's fault if he had knowledge of an impending attack and failed to take action to stop it or if he fails to implement useful and real security measures.

        I do agree that actions this country takes such as abusing and torturing prisoners and disclosing our own international law-breaking in doing so but then not taking punitive action against the perpetrators does have the ability to make us "less safe" because it could provide motivation and recruitment strategy to those who wish us harm.

        Don't EVER buy a Dell Computer.

        by jayden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:51:06 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  I can't even wrap my brain around your (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, jayden, Lady Libertine, Benintn

      comment. One side of my brain goes, "Wow! you're absolutely right." The other side of my brain won't even go there.

      "I haz thinkz, therefore I is."

      by Rumarhazzit on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:07:24 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Uhh . . . because the terrorists were just (5+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, 3goldens, kurt, jayden, chrome327

      waiting for "moral justification"?  Like, "Well we WOULD attack, but morally we can't--oh wait!  See what Obama said!  Now we can!"?!?!?

      It is NOT Obama's fault if terrorists decide to attack.  Again.

      This is not about terrorists.  It is about our moral standing with the rest of the world.  Our allies.  Those countries who still believe in the rule of law.  Which apparently is all too relative according to both Dems and Repubs in THIS country.  THAT is our moral failure.

      It is not his fault, but it IS Obama's responsibility to hold torturers accountable.

      And I am heartsick that he refuses to live up to that responsibility.

      •  It's about our moral standing... (0+ / 0-)

        which has everything to do with when terrorists will attack and how they will justify it and how many they can recruit to commit even more attacks.

        My only point being:

        Obama has made us less safe.

        And his decisions will lead to another attack in my view, because it will anger the world and it will tell the world that there is in fact no hope for America to change in the long term.

        They're going to realize just as quickly as we have that any future president can now torture.

        So what does that mean for their safety? Why wouldn't they use it as a moral justification to attack us and further undermine our way of life.

        Bin Laden has won so far. Let's not forget.

        Let's look at the state of America since 2001.

    •  well.... ow (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RonV, kurt, jayden

      I want to say, oh thats crazy, oh thats overblown, oh thats ridiculous. But I cant.

      However, I dont know if another attack is actually "inevitable", especially BECAUSE of this, and I really dont think I can agree that they have "legitimate MORAL reasons". Maybe logical reasons that they justify in their own mind, which has a certain twist to begin with, and this fits into that frame, maybe. whew.

      Man, this is hard, trying to spin things back to my belief that America is better than this.

      Investigate. Indict. Prosecute.

      by Lady Libertine on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:18:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  I believe jbellins was looking at it from (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        PurpleMyst, jbellins

        their perspective, not ours.

        I don't think an attack is inevitable but I do agree that we cannot simply disclose our own illegalities and not expect others to use them as justification for some type of response or action. That response could just as easily be in the form of a European nation deciding to indict Americans for war crimes based on memos we produced.

        Don't EVER buy a Dell Computer.

        by jayden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:26:43 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  We're only as sick as our secrets (4+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      3goldens, kurt, PurpleMyst, Otteray Scribe

      The idea that Obama is responsible for making us less safe by making government more transparent and accountable is nonsense.

      What made us less safe is that the CIA and NSA, with the approval of the Bush Admin, engaged in torture.

      All that Obama's Administration did was to stop the speculation and make it clear what the legal procedure was that brought us to this point.

      And it is also very clear that these are not merely rogue agents, but people who were given permission by the Bush Administration and the Dept. of Justice.

      One of the things Obama "bet" on is that open access to information and an empowered populace will be able to protect us better than a government agency trying to chase down terrorists who hide in secret.  This bet is a bet on the American way of life, and a belief that honest, forthright communication is preferable to secret, clandestine activity.

      I agree with Obama.

      Justice, mercy, tolerance, hope, love, grace, and redemption are all Judeo-Christian values.

      by Benintn on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 04:20:56 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Not really nonsense. (0+ / 0-)

        There's a difference now.

        On 2001, the world sympathized with us because whatever gripes Bin Laden had, much of it could be marked down to unreasonable militant beliefs.

        What now?

        Now that even liberals like ourselves are condemning the immorality of Barack Obama?

        Making things transparent has given our "enemies" all the hard documented proof they need to legitimize what they do, recruit more militants, and undertake more attacks.

        Don't misunderstand what a castrated transparent society is:

        It's less safe.

        Unless Obama is willing to do what is ethical, releasing America's dirty secrets only undermines our country's safety.

      •  You can divulge your secrets (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        greeseyparrot

        and remain sick if you don't take action to erradicate the disease and prevent it from ever happening again. Simply saying "It's no longer a secret" doesn't mean we're automatically cured from this twisted sickening disease.

        Acknowledgement is only the first step.

        It's almost as if we're declaring "We're sick but the remedy is too tough for us to handle."

        Don't EVER buy a Dell Computer.

        by jayden on Sun Apr 19, 2009 at 05:07:21 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

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