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Banned In China

Monday, May 18, 2009

So I've been following the contretemps concerning the Philly Inquirer hiring of torture enabler John Yoo.

The comments and the defenses by the paper are most interesting. One person yells, I think, that Nancy Pelosi enabled torture. Others argue that we've got to torture these people because if they have information that will save our children (or grandchildren seems to be a favorite) then "what ever it takes." Some then go on about various arcane legal aspects of the law against torture: i.e. because they (being terrorists in their minds, but really people accused of terrorism)aren't state actors they are not therefore protected by law or treaty. Some claim water boarding isn't torture because it doesn't leave marks. At least no one in the comments section linked to, cries about "freedom of speech."

I look at these arguments and wonder at just how pathetic they are. I am stunned at really how easy it is for 21st century Americans to justify torture. How close we are to the Spanish Inquisition. What a thin layer of civilization separates us from the "savages" (savages being in quotation marks as I really do not know how much more savage savages could be).

What is it Jefferson said: "I tremble for my country when I reflect that God is just; that his justice cannot sleep forever." Speaking of slavery to be sure, still is there anything any different here, not just justifying, but engaging in torture? You really wonder what those dirty fucking hippies Jefferson and Madison and Franklin would have thought.

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