Bush, McCain, Torture

Is it not a rather fantastic historical irony that the torture techniques that the North Vietnamese used against McCain that forced him to offer a videotaped false confession ... are now the techniques the Bush administration is using to gain "intelligence" about terror networks.

How is it possible to know that everything John McCain once said on videotape for the enemy was false, because it was coerced, and yet assert that everything we torture out of terror suspects using exactly the same techniques, is true? In fact, McCain at least knew somewhere that his own government knew he existed, that there were procedures to eventually release him, that he was on someone's radar. The average prisoner at Gitmo or in the other parts of the detention program believes that no one will ever save him, that he could be disappeared for ever, that there are no procedures for his eventual release and no government to remember him. If McCain uttered lies on tape to stop the torture, why would an Islamist tell the truth?

Nothing more accurately exposes the classic moral error of the Bush administration and its enablers in war crimes. If the enemy tortures, it defines their moral evil and all intelligence gleaned from such coercion is self-evidently false propaganda. If we do it, it isn't wrong, and it leads to good intelligence.

Got that? And these people have the gall to describe their ideological opponents as moral relativists.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. Who cares about youth? James Hamblin turns to his colleague Jeffrey Goldberg for advice.

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

Never Tell People How Old They Look

Age discrimination affects us all. James Hamblin turns to a colleague for advice.

Video

Would You Live in a Treehouse?

A treehouse can be an ideal office space, vacation rental, and way of reconnecting with your youth.

Video

Pittsburgh: 'Better Than You Thought'

How Steel City became a bikeable, walkable paradise

Video

A Four-Dimensional Tour of Boston

In this groundbreaking video, time moves at multiple speeds within a single frame.

Video

Who Made Pop Music So Repetitive? You Did.

If pop music is too homogenous, that's because listeners want it that way.

Just In