Friday, September 22, 2006

Conservatives and Torture

I was very disturbed by a comment by Maura Liason of NPR (too lazy to google spelling of her name) that took for granted 'the public' was entirely behind President Bush's attempt to make torture legal.

She said something like "oh, of course, people don't want to give the terrrorists special treatment." But then she said that McCain has a special status so that people give him a pass when he says THAT TORTURE IS NOT SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE DONE.

So that...what? Fifty years of international law out the window? The eighth amendment? Poof. "Well, of course, people don't really support the eighth amendment but McCain has special status (as a victim!) and so when he says he cares about morality and the eighth amendment, people excuse his foolhardiness." This is pretty much an equivalent statement to the statement she made.

In my previous incarnation, on a different website which I destroyed, partly because current politics drove me so crazy and the internet made me so suseptible to political obsession, I had many ranting posts about how I hate NPR. Those ones never got any comments. (People used to comment. Being a weirdo, I actually didn't like that in certain ways! I'm not cut out for this and yet I go on.) I guess no one really gets the horror that is NPR who is on the liberal/lefty end of things. So let me just say it again; I HATE NPR. I HATE THEM FOR PRETENDING EVERYTHING IS NORMAL. THAT THIS SITUATION IS NORMAL. They are so FUCKING CHIPPER when they talk about HOW TORTURE IN SOME FORM OR OTHER MAY BE MADE LEGAL.

It really gets to me. Can you tell?

I have been so appalled by recent events, but particularly by this torture issue, that I've started to feel physically ill. Every time I think of this I get sick. I think: IS THIS REALLY HAPPENING? IS OUR SOCIETY REALLY DEBATING WHETHER TORTURE IS OK? What the FUCK!

It's madness. Sheer madness. So suffice it to say that whatshername of NPR's claim got me even more freaked out. I hadn't really thought about THE PEOPLE (sorry, not italics on Safari). I hadn't really thought the American people could be behind such a thing. Undoubtedly that was sheer mental suppression on my part since I desperately fear the discovery that any ordinary person, good-hearted man on the street type, could favor torturing people. TORTURING HUMAN BEINGS. If that is true, then let's just face our society is doomed. Or over. The society we knew---badly guided by sort of enlightenment principles with a large dash of everymanforhimselfism--no longer exists. Call me crazy but it used to be pretty much taken for granted that sort of thing is just so so so so so so so wrong. I mean, I know people occasionally make claims they would like to torture atrocious criminals (convicted ones, mind you) or say that they deserve torture but those claims didn't go anywhere and most of us would say "Shucks, it sounds good in the abstract. But that is not something that we can ever do. Nor would we want to, in a real situation."

I've been wondering what the conservative spin on the thing is. I assume that the spin is that it is not torture. Even though, if you imagine that YOU might have to undergo such practices it's not too hard to also imagine that you'd want to be killed instead. Or you would yearn desperately for your own death. So that seems to clinch the idea--if you were at all honest with yourself--that the practices are torture. I was also thinking: If the conservatives--the supposedly thoughtful ones, who have blogs somewhere even though I don't read them--are supporting this, then that means some portion of the country is. The significant 25% who will follow the fanatics wherever they lead. I went to instapundit. He barely talks about it. But he does mention there could be some arguments against it. Andrew Sullivan seems pretty much against it.

But are they? Are any of them against it? Or has the whole world gone mad?


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