October 1, 2006


Just tired. Good day today. I played golf, and actually played better than I have in sometime. Just good to get away from grading and stuff.

I had a couple of conversations with SBC members this week. And they were good conversations with well-intentioned people. As I see it, they really want to believe that they were right in choosing Bush for religious reasons. They so much want to believe that this man they pray for could endorse torture or oversee incompetence.

On torture, the common defense mechanism can be summed up thusly: it is hard to not want to get information from a terrorist that can save lives.

I understand that. I think we all do. We all want good intelligence and an active police force that stops bad people from doing bad things. But I am not sure that is what Bush is doing, especially when the actions help recruit more and more terrorists that we either have to stop or interrogate.

I have framed three key questions for them regarding this treatment:

1) If the justification is some outcome, does that make waterboarding or hypothermia ok?

2) if the outcome is the issue, then why even draw a line? If saving "innocent" life is the deal, then why stop at anything short of getting what you need?

3) and since innocence is a justification, how do we deal with the fact that we are torturing innocent people?

How does any of this, btw, match up with Christian values? Or the fact that Bush wants to gut constitutional protections or make these kinds of acts legal and limit anyone from having recourse.


ubub said...

What about a more pragmatic reason? Even if we are all so morally and ehtically squishy as to say anything goes, that doesn't change the fact that torture does not yield reliable information.

Bush's defenders miss the central point in the torture discussion. It's not about who 'they' are, it's about who WE are.

Streak said...

Excellent point, ubub. Both of them. Torture has given us bad information and it is and has always been about us. We know that people willing to blow up diners in a pizza parlor are immoral, but it is what we do that makes us moral or immoral. Bush's decisions make us immoral. all of us.

mary said...

I read a frightening analysis last week that said information gathering was in no way the point of the legislation; that Bush et al. were completely aware that information obtained by torture is worthless. The point of the torture bill is intimidation, pure and simple, and the intended audience is both foreign and domestic. It makes a lot of sense... and paints a much darker picture of this administration than even I want to believe.

Streak said...

Excellent point. That smacks of Cheney's influence. Not that Bush isn't above it, but it sounds too involved and Machiavellian for Bush. He isn't that deep.

I keep wondering what kind of President Bush would be had he chosen differently for the VP. If he chose an actual moderate or even a real conservative would we be in this big of a pickle?

Wasp Jerky said...

In part, the legislation is also designed to keep BushCo from being prosecuted for war crimes.