by Patrick Appel
A reader writes:
I heard Marc Thiessen on BBC radio last night, angrily denouncing Obama's actions to the world. What struck me most was his dishonesty. He boldly asserted that waterboarding had saved lives because regular interrogation techniques weren't working to uncover active plots. And he insisted that we need to be able to use waterboarding when all else fails. But he wouldn't call it torture.
His argument was a utilitarian defense of torture, boldly -even proudly- made. It's a fair argument (with which I disagree), but his refusal to call torture torture undermines everything he says. It shows how little the Bushies contemplated...well, anything. As far as they're concerned, they acted and because they acted, their actions were right. Everyone else is wrong.
I suppose a principled defense of torture is possible, but Thiessen isn't interested. He's just angry.
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