Monday, May 18, 2009

More on Torture

Friday, May 15, 2009
The Torture Debate, Continued
by Charles Krauthammer

WASHINGTON -- Earlier this month, I wrote a column outlining two exceptions to the no-torture rule: the ticking time bomb scenario and its less extreme variant in which a high-value terrorist refuses to divulge crucial information that could save innocent lives. The column elicited protest and opposition that were, shall we say, spirited.

And occasionally stupid. Dan Froomkin, writing for washingtonpost.com and echoing a common meme among my critics, asserted that "the ticking time bomb scenario only exists in two places: On TV and in the dark fantasies of power-crazed and morally deficient authoritarians." (He later helpfully suggested that my moral deficiencies derived from "watching TV and fantasizing about being Jack Bauer.")

On Oct. 9, 1994, Israeli Cpl. Nachshon Waxman was kidnapped by Palestinian terrorists. The Israelis captured the driver of the car. He was interrogated with methods so brutal that they violated Israel's existing 1987 interrogation guidelines, which themselves were revoked in 1999 by the Israeli Supreme Court as unconscionably harsh. The Israeli prime minister who ordered, as we now say, this enhanced interrogation explained without apology: "If we'd been so careful to follow the ('87) Landau Commission (guidelines), we would never have found out where Waxman was being held."

Who was that prime minister? Yitzhak Rabin, Nobel Peace laureate. (The fact that Waxman died in the rescue raid compounds the tragedy but changes nothing of Rabin's moral calculus.)

That moral calculus is important. Even John McCain says that in ticking time bomb scenarios you "do what you have to do." The no-torture principle is not inviolable. One therefore has to think about what kind of transgressive interrogation might be permissible in the less pristine circumstance of the high-value terrorist who knows about less imminent attacks. (By the way, I've never seen five seconds of "24.")

My column also pointed out the contemptible hypocrisy of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who is feigning outrage now about techniques that she knew about and did nothing to stop at the time.

Read it all here:

http://townhall.com/columnists/CharlesKrauthammer/2009/05/15/the_torture_debate,_continued?page=full&comments=true

2 comments:

  1. Old Russian saying...You can tell same lie 1000 time(Ms.Pelosi) but not change truth!

    Difference between USSR Communist media and USA "mainstream media"

    In Russia government make media say what they want - even if lie.
    In USA "mainstream media" try make government what they want - even if lie..
    .....eventually they become same thing?!

    I Igor produce Obama Birth Certificate at www.igormaro.org

    ReplyDelete
  2. what these politician don't seem to get these people hate and want to destroy us and all we stand for, i say go all jack bauer on them!

    it may only be TV, but if someone were allowed to do the stuff jack bauer does we wouldn't have near as many problems in this area.

    you should watch 24, it's a great show.

    ReplyDelete