Friday, July 18, 2008
Torture in the news again
The Bush administration tells a good story. "We wanted to do everything we could to protect the American people". Let's take them at their word, then, and look at what they did. What they did was to look for ways to apply ever greater amounts of cruelty.
They didn't look into what works. They didn't create a special task force of the best experts in intelligence operations to come up with a plan. They immediately went for cruelty. "How can we hurt people, to make them do what we want? How much can we hurt them, and still pretend this is legal?"
That was their big idea. They assumed that the only thing standing in the way of successful interrogations was an inability to be nasty enough, to hurt people enough. Even though all of the best interrogators will tell you that you get better information without torture.
Even if you weren't horrified by the evil of an administration that approves of torture, you should be horrified by the sheer stupidity of an administration that doesn't bother looking for the best way to do things. You should be horrified by those whose knee jerk reaction is "hurt someone until they do what we want".