If I held a baby up to you and asked you to punch him, would you? Of course you wouldn't. (And if you would, please find a cliff and keep walking.) What if I told you that by punching that baby, you'd save lives?
Quite the conundrum, isn't it? Of course, I'm thinking of this whole torture issue that's making the rounds right now. I'm honestly not too sure if I have anything all that original to say about it, but let's give it a go anyway.
I would hope that it's obvious as to why we shouldn't employ the use of torture. After all, if we are to claim any sort of moral highground in the world, we have to hold ourselves to the highest standards. After all, and I realize this isn't an original observation, we held all sorts of enemies accountable for THEIR use of torture. And if we want our people to not be tortured, it's a lot harder to make the case when we have no such problem doing it ourselves.
Of course, the conservative hive-mind is rushing to defend the former President's administration's use of torture. They're quick to point out the vague wording that states that supposedly some of the information we received that prevented further attacks was the result of some of these torture tactics. Now, you can have an intelligent debate about this. After all, we're definitely stepping into a morally ambiguous area here. Still, what bothers me so much is just how QUICK these conservatives are to defend the use of torture. After all, this is hardly conclusive evidence that torture was the only way that this evidence could have been procured. Are there other methods that could have worked just as well? Do these conservatives even want to ask this question?
To me, the bottom line is we need to wonder where we draw the line. I mean, if waterboarding works, then what about thumb screws? A hill of fire ants? An iron maiden? The rack? A Michael Bolton video marathon? After all, if we're willing to do whatever we can, then why not those things? What if the guy has a baby boy, and we get a hold of that baby and the psychological evaluations show that the only thing that will get him to talk is if we punch his baby right in front of him? Do we punch the baby?
Yeah, that scenario is absurd, but if we don't have a line, then we'll stop at nothing, and then there will be little to distinguish us from our enemies. For me, I think that torture is exactly what the line should be. The fact of the matter is that we'll never be able to stop every single act of terrorism, and we shouldn't allow ourselves to become terrorists while trying.