One of the most frequent topics of discussion with my liberal friends regards the efficacy & necessity of extraordinary interrogation techniques like waterboarding. They believe that when you torture someone–they insist that waterboarding is torture–that they will “tell you anything” to get you to stop. Because of this, we can’t trust the intel we get from them.
Jon Stewart: But answer my question: Is waterboarding torture? Yes or no?
Cliff May: Defining torture is not easy. A simple legal definition is that it â€œshocks the conscience.â€ Cutting off Daniel Pearlâ€™s head on videotape â€” that shocks my conscience. Sending a child out as a suicide bomber â€” that shocks my conscience. People jumping off the World Trade Towers because theyâ€™d rather die that way than by burning â€” that shocks my conscience. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, mastermind of the 9/11 atrocities, gagging for a few minutes and, as a result, providing information that saves lives, then going back to his cell for dinner and a movie â€” no, my conscience is not shocked by that.
Anytime I see an image of the twin towers or even walk the streets of the city where they once stood, I get a sick and sad feeling. I remember watching video footage of people jumping from the towers. I cannot erase those images from my head.
I heard some author talking about how, sure, these interrogations may have saved lives, but on the other hand, the absolute awfulness of waterboarding only caused more people to be recruited in the fight against us. That is such utter and complete horse[crap] that Iâ€™m having a hard time understanding how anybody with two brain cells capable of creating friction could actually believe that.
You mean to tell me that if youâ€™re living in a 3rd world hole, and youâ€™ve been taught every single day of your life that the reason your country sucks by your Mullahs is because of Israel and the Great Satan, and you live in a culture of complete and utter violence, where history has been so rewritten by the powers that be that you actually believe the Holocaust is Israeli propaganda, and you swallow hook line and sinker all of the nonsense about the Great Satan that youâ€™re willing to sacrifice your life in fiery suicidal jihad to get your 72 virgins, but youâ€™ve just been holding back strapping on that bomb vestâ€¦ until you discovered that some other crazy Muslim youâ€™ve never heard of was threatened with a box of caterpillars. Because that is just the final straw! BOOM!
(edited for content because this is, uh, a family-friendly blog)