Friday, May 15, 2009


Charles Krauthammer, writing in today's The Washington Post, seems to think that the ethics of torture depend on the situation at hand. In other words, torture is not an absolute evil. Sometimes it is good, sometimes bad, it all depends. Therefore what Bush and Cheney and the rest of their gang did to KSM (183 times on the waterboard) or Zubaydah (over 80) was not intrinsically evil. Rather the situation at that time called for torturing these guys because there could have been a "ticking time bomb."

I reject this situationist ethic. Torture is always wrong and always evil because it tries to achieve common good by sacrificing the rights of the individual. Everyone has the right to be free from Cheney's "harsh interrogation methods." Even the suspected terrorist.

By the way, let's subject Krauthammer to the "test of water." In the days of the Inquisition, sometimes churchmen suspected Widow Jones of being in consort with the devil. They subjected her to the water board, and lo and behold, she confessed that she was indeed a witch. This process must have occurred thousands of times all over medieval Europe. (So much for Sen. Graham's silly assertion that waterboarding has worked for the last 500 years, so it must be good.)

But now let's give Krauthammer a chance on the board. Hey Charlie, we suspect you were the 20th hijacker. So tell us all you know or else. Here's the first cup of water. We won't stop until you admit your complicity and conspiracy.

How long before Krauthammer cries mama and confesses? I bet within 10 seconds.

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