Humanness And Statelessness

J.L. Wall reviews Clifford May’s review of The Dark Side. It's one of the very, very few reviews of this seminal book in the "conservative" media and, perhaps deliberately, not posted online. But this is the point:

It’s important to pause now and clarify something that May (and others elsewhere) does not appear to grasp in his review. The argument against torture, at its most basic level, has never been that terror suspects necessarily should be granted the full Constitutional rights of American citizens (the answer and extent are different, and later, questions), but that we grant them basic status as human beings.

Basic status as human beings: this is distinct from the concept of universal human rights. It is not a statement that there is a basic natural right held by all humanity to have counsel, or see evidence against them, or receive halal meals if they want them. It is a statement that there is a basic standard expect of usyou and mein how we treat our fellow human beings; that so long as we acknowledge their mere humanity, we are morallyso much more morally than legallyobligated to treat them as more than animals. At its core, this is what the torture debate is about, has always been about, and will always be about.