Changelog: On Torture

Opinion • Views: 31,118

I posted this as a comment in our earlier thread about George W. Bush’s acknowledgment that he approved waterboarding for terror suspects after 9/11, but refused to consider it “torture.” I thought it might be of interest to our general audience, as a look at why my opinions have changed on some subjects.

I actually understand the impetus to defend the waterboarding of people like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, because at one point I did it myself. I admit that after 9/11 I wasn’t concerned at all with the human rights of the people who attacked us. I made light of the waterboarding issue, using the rationalization that it didn’t cause permanent physical harm and therefore couldn’t be classified as torture.

I now realize I was terribly mistaken. One of the real turning points for me was when Christopher Hitchens, who was a hawk in regard to the Iraq War and 9/11 and radical Islam, underwent waterboarding, was greatly affected by it, and wrote a piece unequivocally condemning it as torture. And when I started researching the history of waterboarding and its use against US troops in Vietnam and other wars, and understood that our government had no hesitation about classifying it as torture when it was used against us, I simply had to admit that I was wrong, and that waterboarding IS torture. It evokes a primal, uncontrollable panic reaction, and yes — people can be permanently harmed by it, both physically and mentally.

Just as with the issue of global warming, as I researched and read the source material and thought about it for myself, and tuned out the flood of propaganda from right wing sites and pundits and media, I had to admit that my earlier skepticism was mistaken and based on ignorance, some of which was the result of skillful propaganda spread by ideologues.

Waterboarding is torture.

You may think the use of torture can be justified in some extreme cases (I don’t), and that, at least, is an arguable position. Wrong, but arguable.

But it’s torture. We should at least have the honesty to admit that much.

Jump to top

Create a PageThis is the LGF Pages posting bookmarklet. To use it, drag this button to your browser's bookmark bar, and title it 'LGF Pages' (or whatever you like). Then browse to a site you want to post, select some text on the page to use for a quote, click the bookmarklet, and the Pages posting window will appear with the title, text, and any embedded video or audio files already filled in, ready to go.
Or... you can just click this button to open the Pages posting window right away.
Last updated: 2016-01-01 10:29 am PST
LGF User's Guide RSS Feeds

Help support Little Green Footballs!

Subscribe now for ad-free access!Register and sign in to a free LGF account before subscribing, and your ad-free access will be automatically enabled.

Recent PagesClick to refresh
The Reviews Are In: Conservatives Say the DNC Was ‘Disaster’ for the GOPIn Which Tea Party Republicans and Neocons agree that the Democratic Convention message was better. National Review editor Jonah Goldberg: Why this convention is better: It's about loving America. GOP convention was about loving Trump. If you didn't love Trump, ...
Thanos
12 hours, 24 minutes ago
Views: 407 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 2
Tweets: 101 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 2
Comments: 0
: 3
Constance Wu on Hollywood’s White Savior Problem: ‘Our Heroes Don’t Look Like Matt Damon’ Constance Wu has had it with Hollywood's white savior complex. The Fresh Off the Boat actress and two-time Television Critics Association Awards nominee posted a pointed letter to Twitter Friday, in which she criticized the whitewashing of Chinese history ...
Thanos
12 hours, 48 minutes ago
Views: 158 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Fox Station Photographer Reportedly Fired After Facebook Post on Michael Brown’s Mom A St. Louis journalist has reportedly been fired after making offensive Facebook comments about the mother of Michael Brown, the teenager whose shooting death ignited weeks of emotional protests in Missouri and led, eventually, to the birth of the ...
Thanos
13 hours ago
Views: 566 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 184 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 2
Likes: 1
Comments: 0
: 3
Donald Trump Is ‘Starting to Agree’ Hillary Clinton Should Be Locked Up For a major party’s presidential nominee to suggest that his chief opponent should be incarcerated appears to have no precedent over the last century of U.S. political campaigns. But that’s nothing unusual for Trump. He broke new ground earlier ...
Thanos
13 hours, 40 minutes ago
Views: 243 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 22 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1
Pope Visits Auschwitz Deathcamp During Poland Visit Pope Francis arrived on Friday at Auschwitz, the notorious former German Nazi concentration camp in Poland, in a historic visit to pay tribute to the more than 1 million people, mostly Jews, who lost their lives there during World ...
Thanos
1 day, 13 hours ago
Views: 144 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
One San Diego Police Officer Killed, Second Hurt One of two police officers shot in San Diego early Friday has died, authorities said. "It is with a very sad heart that we announce the death of one of our officers tonight. Pray for his family," the San ...
Thanos
1 day, 14 hours ago
Views: 157 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
• Eumir Deodato - Rhapsody in Blue• 1973 LP •Great funky cover of this Gershwin classic. From Deodato 2 CTI LP, another classic album.
Thanos
2 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 183 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 2 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
David Crosby - Behind the Scenes of Lighthouse Behind the scenes of David Crosby's new record "Lighthouse". Lighthouse is available for pre-order on CD and Vinyl now, and will be available October 21st worldwide. Pre-order digital: smarturl.itPre-order physical CD: bit.lyPre-order vinyl: bit.lyPre-order Amazon: smarturl.it Produced by Michael ...
Thanos
2 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 136 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Eva Atmatzidou - Rondat - Acoustic Guitar Music downloads and Guitar Tabs available at: candyrat.com itunes: itunes.apple.comApple Music: itun.esAmazon: amzn.com Composed and performed by Eva Atmatzidou.Recorded by Vangelis Karapetros (Studio Puzzle).Filmed by Eleftheria Anthi. Visit Eva Atmatzidou at : Website: atmatzidou.grFacebook profile: el-gr.facebook.comFacebook page: facebook.com ...
Thanos
2 days, 2 hours ago
Views: 149 • Comments: 0 • Rating: 0
Tweets: 1 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 0
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 0
Live Corpse Flower Cam at NYBGA corpe flower is set to bloom....uh, sometime... and here is the live feed. Quite the rarity. Quite the aroma. Watch. Don't blink.
nines09
2 days, 6 hours ago
Views: 279 • Comments: 1 • Rating: 1
Tweets: 33 • Share to Facebook
Shares: 1
Likes: 0
Comments: 0
: 1