Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Tortured stupidity

I've been thinking about my last few posts, recognizing a bit of a common thread. In the past few blog entries I've made, I've been getting ever more frustrated with the stupidity of those in power, and the stupidity they are expecting from us, the voters, in believing them. It's driving me batty.

Here's something: there's been some talk in the liberal blogsphere about torture, a recent New Yorker article on the torture done at the CIA's black sites, and about how Jose Padilla was tortured.

Back in the aftermath of Abu Ghraib, I remember reading an interrogator whining about how, if they dial back their techniques, well, how can they determine if someone is a terrorist or not in the time they have available?

Think about that, if you're not the idiot the Bushies want you to be.

The interrogator was complaining that he wasn't allowed to torture innocent people, along with the guilty, hoping the torture would force the guilty to confess. What kind of idiocy is required to think like that? And what kind of idiot wants to torture innocent people? As soon as you're known as a torturer, you've made enemies, but if you torture only the guilty (or the people you're sure are guilty), people can understand that. If your friend was planting bombs and got tortured, well, your friend knew the risks of fighting against a government that uses torture; it's barbaric, but it's the way the world is sometimes. Torture everyone you've caught up in a sweep, and the innocent people you've tortured are going to talk to their families and friends, and do you think those people are going to be willing to risk their lives informing on terrorists or insurgents?

I mean, isn't it obvious that, when you're a foreigner fighting an insurgency, your survival depends on the common people seeing you as someone worthy of basic human concern? If they think you're a brute, they won't risk informing anyone about plots against you. They might even help the insurgents hide themselves (or weaponry) among them, or join the insurgency themselves.

This isn't rocket science; this isn't even firecracker science! This is just basic common sense.

And there are still some idiots out there thinking that the problem is that the US isn't being tough enough. If only we were a little more brutal, if the good folks of the world had even more reason to be upset with our behavior, then we'd make more progress.

What kind of a state is the nation in when you even have to debate stuff like this?

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