November 07, 2005

The Torture Debate

I normally respect John McCain. However, his anti-torture bill is just plain wrong.
After 9/11, it was everyone's consensus that our intelligence gathering must be improved and that torture would be justified if it meant preventing another terrorist attack - such as the one that left 3,000 dead at the World Trade Center and Pentagon.
In fact, doesn't anyone remember the outrage expressed by everyone - on both sides of the aisle - that assassinations had been taken off the table (at the time, it was revealed that the Clinton administration had fumbled a chance to take out Bin Laden because it had enacted a no-assassination policy).
My, how easily this country forgets...
I understand that torture is not necessarily the most reliable means to exact information from an unwilling suspect. Certainly, I believe there are limits on the effectiveness of some techniques and that there are some forms of torture that are so vile and unconscionable that they should be condemned. However, there are certainly some methods that could be beneficial at times - why further restrict our intelligence capabilities?
Moreover, if our foreign suspects know that nothing can be done to them, what is their incentive to cooperate? Why divulge any information? Members of Al Quaeda are not necessarily good samaritans.
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