A Couple of Questions on Torture


1. Israel can get by without torture. What’s wrong with us?

2. Isn’t “we will absolutely defend those who relied on these memos and those guidelines” too close to “they were just following orders” for comfort?

3. Pretending for the sake of argument that torture makes a country safer, would you rather live in greater safety in Afghanistan, China, Iran, Saudi Arabia, or Syria; or in less safety in the United States of America?


0 responses to “A Couple of Questions on Torture”

  1. 1. I dunno. Israel has a higher tolerance for innocent terrorism victims than we do. And they also have methods — and I’m not talking about things that can possibly be described as torture — for gaining and responding to actionable intel that we don’t.

    2. Yup. Not that it matters, but I’m going to, at some point, write a long blog post on the matter, as I apparently haven’t pissed off quite everybody in the world yet, but, yeah, it is. If it’s immoral to do X based on the facts and circumstances around X, adding, “but I got a note from this guy that says it was okay, really!” doesn’t change it.

    3. Oy.

  2. Mark,

    I absolutely agree with both the decision of the Israeli Supreme Court and the rationale of Blair. We should never use torture again, but we should understand the circumstances surrounding it’s use by both by the CIA and by Mossad in the past. We shouldn’t condone it and should outlaw and enforce that policy. And we should unequivocally denounce the use of torture in the future and heed the lessons of 9/11 and its immediate aftermath. Recall the condemnation of the intelligence community for failing to connect the dots. Those critics are the same people pushing to punish the intelligence community now. The 9/11 attack on America was unique, devastating and confusing to everyone and we overreacted. Blair’s advice is good advice.

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