Wednesday, January 05, 2005

TORTURED REASONING. The Ole Perfesser sez he's agin torture. But he thinks a public discussion via the Gonzales hearings would only be an "effort to turn this into an anti-Bush political issue" whereby "Democrats can be characterized as soft on terror... and the most likely outcome will be, in essence, the ratification of torture," which would "ensure that there's no useful discussion of exactly how, in terms of incarceration, etc., we should treat potentially very dangerous people who do not fall readily within the laws of war."

The Perfesser's contribution to that "useful discussion" seems to be this ("Yeah, the torture of Al Qaeda guys concerns me less than the torture of, I don't know, innocent people -- but it's still wrong..."). He amplifies with something by Volokh, which more or less echoes his POV, but at much greater length and strongly excepting the "but it's still wrong" part. In fairness, I should mention that he also links to an Eve Tushnet post which eloquently explains the moral problem of torture.

Taken all together, the Perfesser's post seems to mean that torture is a fit subject for bloggers, but not for elected Democrats in Congress. One might call it "objectively pro-torture," but let us leave that sort of argument for more slovenly thinkers, and say rather that arguing against an unambiguous evil -- that is, something that would be equally evil whether you were doing it or whether it was being done to you -- is not something that is politicized by the fact that your opponents are (by default, it would appear) making the argument.

UPDATE. Adding to the Useful Discussion is Mark Levin: "As for those generals who oppose Gonzales for supporting interrogations and detentions of the enemy, I'm sure if George McClellan were alive, he'd sign on with the liberals too." This should go great guns in the winger community, as it follows the admirable models of "If George Orwell was alive him and me would be like this (crosses fingers), I bet," and "If skunks had a college, they'd call it P.U." (traditonal).

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