Friday, January 07, 2005

Twisting the Definition of Torture

Ever notice that when a celebrity or politician dies, it is called a tragedy? No, 150,000 killed by a tsunami is a tragedy. A famous person dying is a death. We tend to overuse and twist words during our day-to-day life. Ever notice a year or two ago that everything out of the ordinary was "extreme"??

As the hearing to confirm Alberto Gonzales as the next Attourney General continues, the Dems and the media are drooling all over themselves to revisit the "torture" at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo Bay.

The Liberals want everything that is uncomfortable to be labeled as torture. That thinking only emboldens our enemies and endangers our troops. If terrorists hear that our troops must always play nice, what fear is there of being captured? Sit in a cell in Cuba for a year or two, then get sent back to your country. Big deal!

Here's my limitation of torture (with help from Jim Quinn): doing whatever it takes to get quality information. To me, the definition of torture is doing one step beyond that. There is no need to cause lasting physical harm to get info. Violent action against prisoners only generates useless info. If you are tortured, you will give up any info, true or not.

Making prisoners uncomfortable will eventually break them. This is practiced everyday at police interrogation rooms. Keep the room cool, fill the suspect full of coffee or pop, and eventually the discomfort sets in. The suspect eventually spills the beans. Playing loud heavy metal music in prison won't ruin the terrorist's life. Making them stand in place for hours won't kill them. Putting underwear on the heads of prisoners is far less threatening than sawing off the head of a innocent civilian.

On a side note, why is Ted Kennedy lambasting Gonzales about the practice of water boarding? This is when you simulate drowning causing the prisoner to panic and give up information. If anyone needs a lecture about drowning people, it's Mr. Kennedy.

1 comment:

Neil Sinhababu said...

Remembering that democratization requires us to win hearts and minds in the Arab world, here's a rough standard I'd use: If we'd be outraged at Arabs doing something to captured Americans, we shouldn't do the equivalent thing to captured Arabs.

I think this standard rules out sticking lit cigarettes into people's ears or sticking anything up someone's ass. Stacking naked prisoners in piles and jumping on them is also ruled out. (All these things have happened.)