This week, the Whitehouse released details on the CIA use torture to gain information from capture terrorists. Democratic Senator Diane Feinstein ordered the report released. This is, no doubt, a political move meant to discredit Republicans after midterm elections and as a type of payback against George W. Bush.
However, the question of whether torture is a moral means transcends the political scene. In this case, the particular method used was something called waterboarding. If you’ve ever been swimming and had water up your nose, you have an idea of how the torture works. Like previous methods of torture used in centuries past, the goal is to inflict enough pain, even to the point of death, to obtain from the captive whatever is desired.
As a conservative, I remain staunchly opposed to the political left and the progressive movement and as a lover of America, and of human life, I am appalled that terrorists would commit monstrous acts of violent barbarism against American citizens. Hunting down the terrorists and having them stand trial and executed if found guilty suits me just fine. But I part ways with fellow conservatives on the issue of torture.
Torture goes beyond the limits of American justice. It is one thing to determine a man’s guilt and then mete out a timely punishment, even if that punishment is death. It is another to continually inflict on a man the most intense pain imaginable and declare that his crimes warrant such treatment without limit or mercy. To inflict perpetual torture as judgment is the dictate of God, but not of man.
Civilized societies are established to eliminate the barbaric and cruel so that its citizens can live in relative peace. If the government sanctions torture of its enemies, then that torture can be visited on citizens it deems its enemies. For the government to turn toward barbarism and cruelty to battle the barbaric and cruel is both foolish and evil.
As Vox Day writes:
Enthusiastic use of the most brutal torture did not help the French hold Algeria against Islamic rebels, nor did it bring victory to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan. Debates about whether “water boarding” is more acceptable than the rack or thumbscrews are meaningless; the point is that civilized societies do not indulge in such activities since they are evil and effectively useless.