Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Tortured logic

The only shocking thing about the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence report, released yesterday, most likely is that no one is shocked by its conclusions. 

I mean, who didn't conclude on his or her own --- if he or she bothered to think about it --- that "enhanced interrogation" translates as torture?

And how many do you suppose really care that, as the executive summary of the report puts it, "CIA personnel, aided by two outside contractors, decided to initiate a program of indefinite secret detention and the use of brutal interrogation techniques in violation of U.S. law, treaty obligations, and our values."

That lack of concern on the part of many is shocking, too.

No one accused of torture really denies it, disputing only the report's conclusion it was ineffective. The CIA, for example, has issued a counter report claiming that torture did indeed result in useful intelligence data.

I came across two things this morning in a comment by Kim Fabricius at Richard Beck's Experimental Theology blog that I'm going to borrow because there's little point in reinventing the wheel of outrage.

“Is it morally permissible to torture another human being? Even to raise the question is to be lost.”

And 5 reasons from Christian ethicist David Gushee outlining why torture always is wrong:

 1. Torture violates the dignity of the human being; 2. Torture mistreats the vulnerable and violates the demands of justice; 3. Authorizing torture trusts government too much; 4. Torture dehumanizes the torturer; 5. Torture erodes the character of the nation that tortures.

Some have protested that the report should not have been released because it will cause others to think badly of us. 

The "others" already do.

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