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View Diary: Bush Administration Pushed Torture In Attempt To Find Iraq-al Qaida Links (335 comments)

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  •  Not quite.. (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Ian S, jct, fayea, Amber6541

    they did it in spite of knowing that the prisoners would almost certainly not be able to provide any such information.

    mrobinson mentioned this already, but it bears repeating: They didn't do this in spite of knowing that the prisoners couldn't provide that information, they did it because they knew the prisoners couldn't provide that information. They knew that the only way to get someone to tell them what they wanted to hear (that there was a link between Al Quaeda and Saddam) was to torture them.

    •  You nailed it! (0+ / 0-)

      And that's what makes it so reprehensible. One can understand the "ticking bomb" moral conundrum and why a President might decide to authorize torture. But that's not what we have here. Rather it was all a cynical attempt to gain political propaganda points to justify an invasion of Iraq they had already decided to embark upon. It's really no different than the politically useful "confessions" Communist thugs obtained through similar torture techniques.

      I also think there's an aspect to the torture issue that gets short shrift. It seems to me that the notion of attempting to make torture "legal" demonstrates the moral cowardice of these people. If they really had the interests of the country at heart and the courage of their beliefs, they would have accepted that torture was illegal and done it anyway, fully prepared to endure the legal consequences of what they did. We do not have to carve out any exceptions to the rule of law even for the "ticking bomb" scenario. Rather, we need courageous leaders who are prepared to do what they think is right and to accept the consequences of those decisions without regard to their personal interests.

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