Human history is filled with stories of prisoners, every ounce of information being wrenched out of them, who were tortured still . . . because it amused their captors. From the torture chambers of the Inquisition to the scream-filled rooms operated by Central American dictatorships, the story is an old one.
People torture others not so much for whatever information they might glean, but because they well and truly enjoy it.
The torture groupies among us, who get such a thrill from the thought of people they hate being tortured, will in turn torture the English language, in an effort to make the gullible believe that what is happening in the rooms we should never see is just “enhanced interrogation,” and that this is the new normal, so get over it already.
There seem to be two camps in the “Torture is the New American Normal” debate. One, the professionals who have actually gotten information from suspects, dismiss the use of torture, and the torture groupies, those who enjoy sitting in front of cameras and flexing their patriotic muscles, all the while denying that torture is anything but torture.
There seems to be a sort of agreement in the media that the words “enhanced interrogation” will always be used, unless it is on the rare occasion when they interview a critic of torture.
Does the fact that torture is openly debated on TV, radio and in newspaper columns make us better than dictatorships which practice it, or creepier? At least those regimes had the good grace to deny that torture was ever taking place.
In this country, the torture groupies - and those in the government who lack the spine to stand up to them - are making the American people accomplices in their horrors.
So, are those who clamor water boarding - and whatever else might be in a torturer’s arsenal - actually interested in any information which might be gotten from a suspect, or are they so vengeance-driven that the punishment must begin now, even without resorting to a trial?
In the rare event that answers are forthcoming, would they be content to let the torture stop there, understanding what the suspect might be guilty of?
Again . . . Does the open debate on torture in this country make us better than those other countries which have engaged in it, or creepier?
Does it make us better as a people, , or a whole lot creepier?
Quote of the Day
Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away. - George Carlin