What happened?

I’m going to put this bluntly: What has happened to our country? What does it matter whether water-boarding, head-slapping, or sleep deprivation are, in a technical sense, torture? Can we no longer recognize these things as somehow inherently wrong? Or have we, as a nation, become so over-saturated in legalities, twists of logic and overzealous politicking that we can no longer make sound, practical judgments without the company of a lawyer? Torture is not an evil not because our laws tell us so, but because there is something self-evidently wrong in it. You cannot justify it. Yet many continually to seek out such justifications. The “torture can save lives” mentality, adopted by many leading candidates, as well as the Bush administration fails to comprehend the utter nonsense inherent in the notion that we can somehow illicit truth through pain. What on earth gives rise to this idea? Unless the torturer has a method by which they can instantly and gauge the validity of the remarks of the tortured (a ticking bomb, for example) I see no possible incentive for that person not to simply lie to their captors. But this type of scenario is being worked into serious consideration of the matter. The most startling question, posed by Brit Hume, during the second republican debate of this year started with the following hypothetical: “Three shopping centers near major U.S. cities have been hit by suicide bombers. Hundreds are dead, thousands injured. A fourth attack has been averted when the attackers where captured off the Florida coast and taken to Guantanamo bay, where they are being questioned. U.S. intelligence believes that another, larger attack has been planned and could come at any time.” Though the name “Jack Bauer” wasn’t explicitly mentioned, it may as well have been. Something is deeply wrong when our leaders have to rely upon these types of bizarre and outlandish hypotheticals to justify their actions and