Subject: Justifiable torture
is an oxymoron
Bart, justifiable homicide is when you kill a
person because they're trying to kill you right that moment.
It's only justifiable if you have no other plausible
way to survive. If the dude has a bum leg and a knife, you can run.
If the dude has a gun, and you wrestle it away,
you can't pull the trigger unless he's an idiot and comes at you again.
It is a "heat of the moment" exception entirely.
No matter how you try to slice it, you're still
killing a man.
Killing has to be worse than torture -
so your argument has sprung a leak.
If you would kill under certain circumstances,
you'd torture under certain circumstances.
Torture is knowingly and deliberately inflicting
pain on someone who is not an immediate threat to you.
In any situation where I would say, "Go ahead,
torture," I would also, for example, call the White House and tell them
that that nuke we're looking for probably won't
be found and they better get ready to deal with a major American city
being vaporized, because if you're that desperate,
all he has to do is give you the right kind of false information in the
right scared tone of voice and you're chasing
a wild goose just long enough for the bomb to go off.
What if we forced the terrorist to watch Nancy
The "buried alive" situation? No one can
Even if they're in a coffin, the weight of the
earth on top crushes it. They're already dead.
You are mistaken.
When they exhume a body, it's never crushed.
The kidnapper situation? If you have the
kidnapper, you have the kids, or the kids are dead.
Kidnappers keep the kids with them. That's
the whole point. The only time you don't get the kids with the kidnapper
is if he already killed them and disposed of
the bodies or he got sloppy (e.g. you see him at a 7-11), and all you have
to do if he got sloppy is not arrest him right
there and follow him back to wherever he's staying. The only other
this isn't accurate is when you're dealing with
a group of professional ransom artists (such as the kidnappers in Mexico),
and they're too smart to get caught like that.
*I* would try to save my kids, even if the odds
were against me.
I am not saying John Lennon, MLK, and BHO wouldn't
torture in that situation. I'm not even saying I'd blame them,
because I'd probably do the same, for all my
speechifying. I'm saying that just because an act is understandable
in no way
makes it excusable. They'd--I'd--still
be wrong to do so, because we would have inflicted needless pain on someone,
monster though he is, for no gain at all.
I think saving my kids would be plenty excusable.
In short, I will tell you what we tell Republicans
who defend torture in situations other than absolute last resort:
24 is a TV show. It is not real. Torture
has never, and I mean that word, been half as reliable as a magic 8-ball,
and until and unless an actual truth serum is
developed never will be. If you are in a situation where it would
more reprehensible not to torture than it would
to torture, you'd best prepare yourself to lose, because you already have.
It's wrong to lie to one's self.
Torture doesn't always work, and it doesn't always fail.
Those facts cannot be argued with.
I've heard people say, "A man will say anything
to stop the torture," which is true.
He might tell the truth to stop the torture, too.
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