I'd been musin' about tryin' to summarize what I think about the U.S. government using waterboarding and other hobby skills in some attempt to extract information. Now I find I don't have to, 'cos J. R. Shirley already has.
Yeah. What he said. Go read it if you haven't already. Gorrammit,* the good guys aren't supposed to endorse or use torture.
--I understand this is a contentious topic, about which reasonable persons can and will disagree. Fine by me; most of us are, AFAIK, only indirectly in the waterboarding business.
In response to questioning from readers, I posted this in the comment thread:
My objection to such actions undertaken by agents of a nation-state against any person is twofold: first, this is not the behavior of civilized associations and must never be encouraged; the government that abuses "enemy combatants" today will do so to its own citizens tomorrow. (I'm perfectly okay with simply shootin' aforesaid "partisans," BTW, preferably in the act). Second, it has a severely deleterious effect upon the torturers. You cannot reduce another human being to a quivering lump of abject submission without making indelible changes to your own relationship to yourself and to the rest of the species. Once you've internalized that other folks are just so much meat, their spirits rather easily bent and broken, you are no longer fit for civilization; you have become an enemy to all free persons. And, being human, you will justify your actions.
I have known too many bad predators in my life. If our government keeps on makin' 'em, pattin' 'em on the head an' sayin' "nice doggie," we're in for bad times. Lon who?
* Yes, I am a Browncoat.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
6 months ago