Summary: On Friday I said that we would torture again., despite the evidence in the Senate’s report. This weekend former and current high officials of the US government confirmed that guess. Defenders of torture dispute the evidence, deny that torture was torture, and offer bold affirmations that they would torture again.
For I doubt not but, if it had been a thing contrary to any man’s right of dominion, or to the interest of men that have dominion, ‘that the three angles of a triangle should be equal to two angles of a square,’ that doctrine should have been, if not disputed, yet by the burning of all books of geometry suppressed, as far as he whom it concerned was able.
— Thomas Hobbs in The Leviathan
The Bush and Obama administrations have put torture into our national DNA. In the past Americans supporting (or enjoying) torture spoke quietly, least they (rightly) get compared to torturers of the NAZI Gestapo, Soviet KGB, and the many lesser known secret police of 3rd world nations (many of whom learned their craft at the US Special Forces’ School of the Americas).
Now come the propos to convince the American people that this is business as usual, that we’re still an exceptional City on a Hill (Matthew 5:14).
So closes the next chapter in America’s fall. We’ll use torture again. Read Republican’s justification of torture. Hear the echos from the past. As so many have said before, Hitler was just early (hence Godwin’s Law). Listen closely — their words justify torture of Americans (when designated as bad guys by the government). That shouldn’t surprise us after so many tools of the war on terror appear on America’s streets. (plus, of course, Obama’s assassination of American citizens).
Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia
His word salad clearly communicates that our rights mean nothing to him. CNN about Scalia’s interview on December 12 on Swiss National Radio:
The justice who’s been a mainstay of the high court’s conservative wing for 28 years condemned the “self-righteousness of European liberals” who oppose torture “so easily” Friday in an interview with Swiss National Radio. “I don’t think it’s so clear at all,” Scalia said. “I think it is very facile for people to say ‘Oh, torture is terrible,'” he said. “You posit the situation where a person that you know for sure knows the location of a nuclear bomb that has been planted in Los Angeles and will kill millions of people. “You think it’s an easy question? You think it’s clear that you cannot use extreme measures to get that information out of that person?”
… “What are human rights is not written up in the sky, and if it were written up in the sky, it would not be up to judges, lawyers, just because they’ve gone to law school, to know what human rights ought to be and therefore are,” Scalia said.
“And therefore each society’s perception of what it believes human rights should be ought to be up to that society, and I think it’s very foolish to yield that determinations not only to a foreign body but to a foreign body of judges,” he said. “I don’t know why anyone would want to do that.”