A reader writes:
I think these analogies (such as between rape and torture) are helpful in terms of how we analyze our own morals. I think you originally alluded to rape many months ago when you posted an account of the forced feeding of Guantanamo inmates in hunger strikes. At the time, the inmates were powerless to their captors and had but one recourse to exert control over their own bodies. In a desperate cry for freedom they attempted suicide by hunger strike. This was denied by force-feeding the inmates, which consisted of forcing a tube (sometimes violently and without lubrication) down the throat of the inmate through which food was pumped into the stomach.
I believe you compared this to rape and I think it was quite fitting.
Aside from that, I’ve always tried to make the comparison between terrorism and child rape, which are two equally heinous crimes in my mind. I make this analogy to try and understand how and why we (by we I mean America’s leaders 2001-2008) chose to treat terrorism as the worst possible crime. Suspected terrorists were denied access to a judicial system, subjected to dismal prison conditions, and tortured. Yet a suspected child rapist is still afforded basic rights guaranteed by the constitution.
We have to ask ourselves some serious questions, like “Is international terrorism worse than normal criminality?” “Is planning to bomb a subway train worse than planning a high-school shooting spree?” Why is one crime treated within the existing law while the other crime demands a circumventing of existing law?