Monday, March 21, 2005

Torture : Is it Good?

Apparently not, according to Conservative Jeff Jacoby, writing at Townhall. He suggests four detriments to torture. Torture is unequivocally illegal. Torture is unreliable. Torture, as a practice, can be applied to the innocent as easily as the guilty. And, finally, torture is a slippery slope. Mr. Jacoby concludes his article with this paragraph.
No. Torture is never worth it. Some things we don't do, not because they never work, not because they aren't ''deserved," but because our very right to call ourselves decent human beings depends in part on our not doing them. Torture is in that category. Let us wage and win this war against the barbarians without becoming barbaric in the process.
So all in all I salute this column. Now Mr. Jacoby does stretch the truth a little when he puts the argument for torture in the mouth of a prominent liberal (Mr. Jonathan Alter, writing directly after September 11th, who said, "In this autumn of anger, a liberal can find his thoughts turning to -- torture."). One has to assume that Mr. Jacoby is well aware that gentlemen on his side of the aisle have gone much further than this in justifying torture. But, setting aside that rhetorical sleight of hand, a very noble article.

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