Torture And Evidence


Greenwald criticizes my position on indefinite detention:

Here's Andrew Sullivan ... suggesting that the only thing that ever bothered him about Guantanamo was the torture, not the fact that people were being indefinitely imprisoned without a shred of due process ... 

If you're someone who wants to claim to find torture repugnant: fine.  But if you simultaneously justify the imprisonment of people based on evidence obtained by torture, then your protestations are meaningless.  Wanting to use evidence obtained by torture is functionally incompatible with claims of finding torture morally unacceptable.  After all, what's the point of barring the use of torture-obtained evidence in trials only to then imprison people anyway without trials based on that very evidence?

I did not say that torture was the only thing I found wrong about Gitmo, just the fundamental concern. And I was referring to prisoners captured but not tortured, and with no serious evidence against them, but who have been radicalized by Gitmo. I was referring to Jihadists the US manufactured. Maybe that should have been clearer. And all I was saying is that I understand the reluctance of the administration to release these men to, say, Yemen, even though I back the release of all who have no credible evidence against them. If Obama is using torture-procured evidence to keep these prisoners in jail, then that evidence is ipso facto incredible. But there are some, I fear, caught in the middle. I'm with Glenn on the need to try or release. I'm just aware how difficult that can be, if national security is put at risk.

Presidents live in a world bloggers do not. If a released Jihadist were to kill again, bloggers would not take the brunt of the responsibility. Obama would have to.