Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Waterboarding is Inherently Evil. Oh, wait.

I was so excited when I read the headline: "Waterboarding: Catholic Law Professor Says Such Torture Methods are Intrinsically Evil."

Finally, I thought, someone who will oppose torture on purely moral grounds irrespective of whether it works, whether it harms us, or whether it destroys our soft power.

But as it turns out, Professor Marcy Strauss's argument is basically utilitarian, not moral. According to Catholics Online:

"The law professor detailed four reasons why torture should never be an option for any government. First, it’s forbidden by international law.. Second, it doesn’t work. Strauss feels just as strongly about the untold harm done to the nation’s image around the world by photos of abuse and torture from Abu Ghraib. Final[ly]...sanctioning torture in exceptional circumstances can’t possibly be contained and will always lead to innocent victims being tortured in non-exceptional circumstances."
So let's get this straight, torture is not inherently evil, it's only bad policy because it is bad for us. In other words, if it were OK with our allies, if it worked, if it didn't affect our reputation and if it didn't include a nasty contagion effect on innocents, no *&#^ing problem.

This is where "the debate" has been for awhile now; I can't believe her remarks constituted "news" or that a Catholic law professor couldn't come up with anything better.

No comments:

"; urchinTracker();