May 3, 2011

Ugh--Republicans again defend torture

Should not find this surprising, but Republicans are now saying that torture produced the intel that gave us bin Laden.

We have been through this argument before. The evidence suggests that torture didn't give us this info, but it doesn't really matter. Torture is still wrong. If utility is the measure, then there is no check on what we can do. If the terrorists life is worthless, and getting information is the only guide, then there is no reason to stop at water boarding, but only more reason to throw ethics and morality out the window. If the only moral equation is what we can get, then we can murder family members, cut off fingers, drill holes, etc.

When did the Republican party become the party of torture? At what point did that switch happen?


leighton said...

My speculation is that with the exception of a handful of a few Himmler-types, there aren't many Republicans who would actually come out and say that torture is an inherent good. I think it may be more an issue of some respected Republican leaders (Bush, Cheney, etc.) signing off on torture, and getting flak from the left over it. Because no liberal criticism of a Republican can be valid, torture must be okay.

I think this makes sense of why we see more anti-liberal propaganda coming out the right than advocacy of torturing domestic crime suspects. Torture is only on their radar by historical accident.

Monk-in-Training said...

It is my opinion that most Republicans in my area are conservative Evangelical Christians, and they are just a generation or two from a repressive, racially charged system that used torture and murder to "keep blacks in line".

In the background always lurks the lynch mob's rope, and that has (in my opinion) the righteousness of their Grandfather's regime, and makes torturing non-white people perfectly fine.

I guess what I am saying is that there is a connection to explore between men of color hanging from a tree or lamp post and Muslims being water boarded.

It is probably far more subconscious than it is a critically self examined viewpoint.

As to Leighton's point there aren't many Republicans who would actually come out and say that torture is an inherent good, I would say in this area (Oklahoma), a greater percentage would say it was good.

leighton said...

Monk, good point -- I only have experience with people on the west coast and in Colorado, so this may very well vary by region.