We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I'm going to place these two videos below the fold because they contain language, violence and themes which might be upsetting to innocent young girls, liberals, and small children.
(This was written a few years ago at the height of the "torture debate")
It is perhaps the greatest, and saddest, irony of our time that we cheer our heroes on the big screen when they play the no-holds-barred tough guy torturing the bad guy to get the vital information, then, when it satisfies a political purpose in redefining "torture", we oppose it in a time of war when we need this attitude the most.
The bad guy’s in custody. He’s got vital information. You know he has it and you need to get it in order to save countless lives. But the bleeding heart liberals have passed so many laws protecting criminal suspects that if you even look cross-eyed at the guy you might face a reprimand, a fine, suspension, termination, criminal charges for your hate crime and be hit with a civil lawsuit for the emotional damage your callous actions have caused.
Unless, of course, you’re Arnie.
But wait! Now the bad guy’s not just some common hood — he’s a CIA station chief!
So, let’s see. Extracting the valuable, timely information in order to save countless lives would entail:
• Waiting 25 years for the Freedom of Information Act to release the station chief’s name so you could get the legal paperwork started.
• Wait 10 years for it to get to Federal court.
• Wait 10 years as additional ’stays’ are filed by opposing council.
• Have motion denied by judge.
• Wait 10 years for appeal to be heard.
• Judge grants your motion, the station chief’s great-grandson takes the stand and releases the information on the bad guy: who he was, where he was, and when he was going to set off the nuclear device in what was once known as New York City, now just a long-abandoned crater of radioactive decay.
And that’s the route you have to take to get the vital info.
I think the point that would be made is that we seemed to have been doing just fine for the previous 200 years -- until you-know-who was in the White House and the Angry Left decided to use "torture" as a political tool.
The key question would be, when was the previous time the news media was up in arms about "torture"?
The word wasn't bandied about much during the Iraq War, certainly not during the Gulf War, and while the Left loved using the word "atrocities" during 'Nam, the word "torture" wasn't part of the narrative.
On the other hand, this isn't to argue your excellent point. Indeed, who watches the watchers?
That's always going to be the question and the conundrum of self government.
As for torture. I think it deserves a definition (or already has one ignored by the left). It seems to me that something that doesn't leave a physical or psychological mark serves as a starting point. Water boarding fits that description for me.
(rereading my previous post, it looks like I am against water boarding! Yikes. What I meant to say that it can't be defined as torture if it DOESN'T leave a physical or psychological mark.)
I have no problem with "truth serums" if they are safe. In fact I would amend my previous comments that torture might be defined as leaving a physical mark. I would not sanction beating up someone (at least beyond a certain point - admittedly there is that problem with who's watching), but I think most of us can agree that punching a guy in the nose (as was recently made into a federal case) is NOT torture. Would we also agree that even though the goings on at Abu Grabe were childish, stupid, and punishable if only because they weren't directed at real terrorists, that putting panties on a guy's head and having a dog growl at someone are also NOT torture? Scaring the crap out of somebody or making him physically uncomfortable such as sleep deprivation, etc. is also not torture.
My definition of torture leads to missing or permanently damaged body parts (even breaking bones), irreparable psychological harm (that can happen on the battle field, though, can't it?).
A friend of mine was in Vietnam for two tours and part of his training was to be water boarded. He may have been tougher than the rest (and certainly tougher than KSM) because he was the only one in his unit that didn't crack from it.