Sunday, February 21, 2010


Kevin Drum spots a pattern of clumsy, obvious lies in support of the proposition that torture elicited important information, and concludes:
If torture were really as effective as the Thiessen/Cheney wing of the conservative movement thinks, they'd hardly risk resorting to such obvious lies to defend it. They'd have so much good evidence in favor of it that they wouldn't need to bother. But apparently they don't.
Just to add to that -- remember (as many have pointed out) that for torture to be a good idea, it must:

1.  Get (accurate, usable) information;
2.  Get more (and more accurate) information than normal, Geneva-approved procedures would get;
3.  Get enough extra information that it's worth accepting the very real effects of the negative publicity surrounding torture.

And of course that's just the pragmatic case, not the moral case. 

The obvious problem here is that the Cheney gang can't seem to get past the first one of these conditions.  Every time they claim that torture produced information, it turns out that they're wrong. 

I don't know; there could be classified materials that will someday make a much better case for the Cheney gang than they make for themselves right now.  It's certainly possible. There just isn't any (I want to say isn't much, but I really don't think there's any, so far) meaningful evidence in that direction, and increasing evidence the other way.

1 comment:

  1. The Feb. 15/22 New Yorker has a really nice piece on Eric Holder's decision to use civilian courts that also touches on torture in general.


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