Thursday, June 30, 2005

People Who Won't See Reason

My thoughtful reader, Terry G. continues to comment here, and here that my logic doesn't flow.

Ok, I'll concede the point that good food does not per se exclude the possibility of torture. But it's pretty simplistic to get so technical, and that's where I find the tortured logic on Terry's part. I am sure that the terrorists are experiencing physical and emotional discomfort at the hands of our soldiers. I am certain that they hate it. I am certain that they have found themselves in embarrassing and disgusting situations. But that's not torture. We are not running a hotel, we are running a prison for illegal combatants who operate a clandestine terrorist organization determined to use whatever means necessary to destroy America. If it means that a guy is chained up and soils himself in order to get him to rat out a safe house or a bank account or even an entire sleeper cell, I think I can live with that.

If others are so arrogantly wedded to a philosophy that dirty work is beyond the United States, that's their problem. They will survive another day because someone with a different point of view was in power. And as far as the value of the extractions are concerned, much of what we have used against al Qaeda has come from Gitmo detainees. I'd say something is going right.

But don't listen to me, listen to the Congressional delegation that just visited. But I somehow doubt that no matter what the facts and evidence are, Terry won't want to believe anything but that these people are being tortured by the military.

Regarding the matter of the applause for the president, Terry falls apart. Not satisfied with the point of the post (which I can only presume was read) which was that Kos was wrong, and that the soldiers held their applause on orders, we are greeted with questions about the partisanship of the soldiers present, the notion that they were polled in order to get into the place, and that their support for Bush has nothing to do with the soundness of his policies. I didn't argue that. But now that it is mentioned, it does say something.

The military showed Bill Clinton only the required respect. They make a point of showing this President more than the minimum (facing him when saluting, etc.). And given that these people are the tip of the spear (Ft. Bragg is home to the 82nd Airborne and our special forces anti terrorist unit known as the Delta Force) it is interesting that they laud the man that is deploying them to what could be their last mission.

I'm just dealing with facts. But I can't reason with people who won't see the forest for the trees.


Blogger Terry G. said...

You say we've used intelligence from Gitmo against Al Qaeda, can I see some objective proof of that claim?
Other than our government saying so (when was the last time you fully trusted the Government?) we have no way of knowing that the detainees are indeed threats. Or that the detainees house valuable information.

There might be times when torture is morally justified, I do not see that here. There is no ticking timebomb. No hostage tied up in the woods.

Al Qaeda operates outside of the law. If it makes me idiotically idealistic to demand that the United States operate differently, then, so be it.

I'm glad our fearless Lawmakers ventured to this extra-legal jail in the tropics. I don't believe they saw the worst of the interrogation techniques approved of by this administration. Maybe those techiniques are no longer employed, that's a good first step.

Let's be clear: I'm not concerned with the pragmatic matter of housing and feeding detainees at Gitmo. I'm concerned that people are being detained without probable cause or hope of judicial redress and that torture is being used needlessly to extract information.

Again, can I be reassured that the information gained from Gauntanamo is useful? Sounds like other methods were used to find KSM. Where is KSM now, by the way? Have we produced any meaningful information since the use of "harsh" interrogation on him? Along with OBL, KSM is supposedly a mastermind behind the attacks of Sept. 11, can the victim's families get some closure by seeing him convicted and punished?

Kos is wrong, of course. Like Kos, I assumed you attached meaning to the soldier's reactions, and what that meaning might be. My bad.

I agree with the Moose on this one. Make the speech in the Oval Office, instead of using our military as props in a production, whose purpose is to boost poll ratings.

9:39 AM  

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