It’s Not Torture When We Do It
November 7, 2007
A couple of weeks ago, Brad & Britt invited callers to phone in and give their opinions on whether or not the interrogation technique known as “waterboarding” was torture and if the United States should be engaged in it. I listened to the program for about 30 minutes before heading to work and most of the callers who phoned in took the stance that it was not torture and even if it was, it was acceptable in order to save American lives.
Over on The Conservative Alternative (a local Greensboro blog) a similar discussion has broken out on the topic and I find it both fascinating and scary what some people will justify to themselves in the name of security. To them, waterboarding is acceptable because it combats the nature of the “greatest threat” our nation has ever faced – Islamofascism. As if we never faced any greater challenges than a religious mindset.
To the folks over at TCA, and all those who phoned into the Brad & Britt show that morning, I have one simple question:
“If you consider the interrogation technique known as ‘waterboarding’ to be an acceptable form of treatment for prisoners held by the United States, do you then agree that American service men and women, held by our enemies in a time of war, can be subjected to waterboarding themselves as a means to gain information?”
I tried to get several of the conservative commentators over at TCA to give their answer, but no one had the balls to actually come out and say yes or no. The reason why this is so difficult for them is simple. If you believe that waterboarding is okay when we do it, then it has to be okay when they do it to us, and that is something no one would ever agree to. No one in their right minds would try and justify applying “extreme interrogation techniques” to American service men and women held in foreign lands, nor should they. Torture is cruel, inhumane and ultimately self defeating as a means to gather information. Even those in our own government have admitted that waterboarding is torture, and yet somehow, it is considered acceptable behavior for the greatest nation on Earth.
I don’t know about you, but from where I’m standing we’ve lost the moral high-ground on issues like torture. The United States I grew up in didn’t lock people up without representation, it didn’t didn’t try to silence dissent and it sure as hell never tortured people. We’ve lost a great deal in the last six years, not the least of which is a true sense of what we’re fighting for. I have no desire for this nation to become like those who would seek to destroy us. But sadly in many ways, it appears we already have.