The neocons have been making a big deal of how waterboarding and other “psychological” tormenting of prisoners is not actually torture, unless you cause permanant, serious harm or death.
They also say that we GAIN things by using these “harsh interrogation techniques”, so that makes it OK:
The End Justifies the Means.
Well, yes, that is a Marxist/socialist slogan, which has produced millions of deaths and more suffering than any other idea in history.
And sure, real Conservatives spend their lives fighting against the End Justifies the Means philosophy…but we’re talking about neocons, RiNOs. The Neocon movement originates with self-described Trostyites, which is why they still have most of the underlying Marxist mindsets.
Anyway, I’m wondering why we’re wasting this technicality, in our own justice system.
If we can harm suspected terrorists in case it might make us safer, why not suspected criminals?
Protect Us from Criminals
Why not waterboard a possible serial killer, and then flush his bible (don’t ask me why so many psychopaths are strongly religious) down the toilet, in order to find out who he’s killed?
Why not strip an accused child molester naked, have women laugh at him, leave him in a forty degree room (still nude) all night with no sleep, in order to find out whether he did, and to whom?
These things are not torture, and anyway they are justified because we profit from them.
The neocon talk show hosts, and surviving neocon politicians (vote carefully, next primary) will quickly protest “but the 8th amendment bans that”. Apparently, interrogation can be cruel and unusual, yet not be torture, even though many court cases citing the 8th amendment actually bandy about the T-word interchangably.
But then we need only use a constitutional amendment to revoke this man-made priveledge.
Or why even bother…why not pass a law suspending the citizenship of anyone accused of a serious crime? And then rent space in an Indian/riverboat casino to conduct the Harsh Interrogation off of US soil?
Frankly, I need the neocons to answer the question, at that point, because I don’t see how their Philosophy of Cowardice could but DEMAND that we do this, in order to have greater safety from murder and rape.
But I can explain why, to an actual Conservative, classic liberal, or any other decent human being, we must not “harshly interrogate” criminals.
We should probably set aside basic human decency versus evil, because if you don’t get THAT reason, then you probably never will.
Let’s start with that 8th amendment:
Yes, it (and a number of other parts of the Constitution) prohibit “harsh interrogation”.
But they do not grant a man-made priveledge only to Americans, that you can suspend with some Clintonian wordplay, the way the neocons and other socialists argue.
In fact, the 8th amendment protects a Natural Right. You, I, and any other sapient being are BORN with a right to freedom of speech, religion, self-protection, and many other choices, including not to be tortured without our consent.
The Founders knew this, and said specifically they were only mentioning certain rights in the Constitution to keep future sociopaths from finding excuses to violate them…but that ALL natural rights were still to be universally protected.
So using some technicality to violate those rights would not magically make them go away. Torturing the criminal would still be wrong.
And remember, “universally protected”: The Founders did not believe that those natural rights only apply to Americans. That wouldn’t be very “natural”.
They simply did not have the power to force the French government to protect natural rights. But they intended the protections to apply against the Federal government of the US, which was what the Constitution created and limited.
So when the Federal government violates the rights of a foreigner, it is absolutely against the spirit of the Founders. Something, once again, a Conservative understands, but a Marxist-cum-neocon does not. That, obviously, includes torturing them, as well as censorship and the many other violations the Bush administration committed against foreigners, showing themselves not to be Conservative at all, just neocons.
When people try to justify evil means, because the end is desirable, they are like a child who wants to spend his money on candy now, instead of saving it so they have enough to eat supper later.
This is because the “end” is always something short-sighted. You are giving up the thing that causes more good in the long run, the investment, in order to get a quick fix, the instant gratification.
Short-sighted is not always short-term:
Perhaps you’re going to kill ten million people now, so that in a generation your empire is small enough to feed itself. Ask Stalin and Mao about that. But you’re still abandoning the principles (everyone has a right to determine his own life) that makes society stable and healthy in the big picture. Even “easy way to feed the next generation” is short-sighted, if you’re murdering to do it.
So violating people, no matter what euphamism we use, brings harmful, evil precedents into our society. The REAL, long-term end is violated, even the safety that the neocons pretend to value above all else.
We cannot let government officials torment suspected criminals, because we are setting a precedent of condoning that evil behavior. If it’s OK to non-torture molesters and mass murderers, then why not rapists? How about people who stole, and still have hidden, the life savings of elderly people? Regular investors? Tax cheats?
Not protecting your principles makes the slippery slope, sometimes a fallacy, become real — nearly inevitable.
This is why we throw out ANY evidence gotten in violation of the Constitution or our natural rights.
And it’s why letting our government ever violate natural rights is wrong.
The very minimum standard for how we treat foreigners should be “Would we tolerate treating an American, who accused of a crime, this way?”