Friday, April 24, 2009

Tortured Rationalization

At the beginning of the week I read this tidbit on WHERE ARE MY KEYS:

... "the terrorists are called by their faith to resist as far as they can -- and once they have done so, they are free to tell everything they know. This is because of their belief that "Islam will ultimately dominate the world and that this victory is inevitable." The job of the interrogator is to safely help the terrorist do his duty to Allah, so he then feels liberated to speak freely.
Quoting Marc A. Thiessen in the Washington Post.

This idea gave me pause, because I have to admit that it would justify torture, if only of reverent Muslim terrorists. But the more I think of it, the less it seems true.

In the first place, if this were based on Muslim teachings then it's odd that someone hadn't brought it up earlier than this week. I mean much earlier, like the 1800's. More likely it's either completely made up or a grasping-at-straws interpretation of the Koran that nobody but the guy who wrote the torture memo ever thought of. Certainly not the people being tortured.

Then, what about all that yapping to the press over the years that what we're doing isn't torture? Doesn't that just serve to embolden the prisoners? If you keep saying "waterboarding is no worse than shampooing" you're simply fortifying future prisoners against "reaching their limit." I can endure this, says the prisoner, because no matter how bad it feels in truth it is no worse than shampooing. People who bought the point in the memo would never risk dampening it's effectivness unless they thought it really IS torture.

Most telling reason why I think it's not true: it's just too good to be true.

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