“Okay, okay…we actually do and will torture…
WASHINGTON (AFP) – In an important clarification of
President George W. Bush’s earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture, arguing the US administration was duty-bound to protect Americans from terrorist attack.
The comment, by US national security adviser Stephen Hadley, came amid heated national debate about whether the
CIA and other US intelligence agencies should be authorized to use what is being referred to as “enhanced interrogation techniques” to extract from terror suspects information that may help prevent future assaults.
Well, at least they’re being honest, but it would have been nice to see Bush say this instead of some lower level official.
However, Hadley once again uses the inherent paradox with torturing somebody to defend its use:
“The president has said that we are going to do whatever we do in accordance with the law,” the national security adviser said. “But… you see the dilemma. What happens if on September 7th of 2001, we had gotten one of the hijackers and based on information associated with that arrest, believed that within four days, there’s going to be a devastating attack on the United States?”
Well, sure. Anybody would say yes to that scenario. Duh.
But the problem arises when you really think that scenario through. Simply put, nobody knows this “vital information” until the suspect gives it up. In fact, we don’t even know they possess it. Given that logic, ANY detainee could have potentially “vital information.” Does that mean we should torture EVERYBODY? Of course not. However, once we start falling down this slippery slope and saying we’ll leave every option open, that’s the risk we face. Either torture everybody or torture nobody. There is no inbetween.
So instead of holding people indefinitely and doing whatever we want to them, we need to refocus our efforts on protecting our borders, being more vigilant and creating good will around the world so that if any information is discovered through other channels, the country that possesses it will want to share it with us.
Our leaders are smart people. They’re being blinded by fear. I hope that stops soon.