TwitterFacebook

Changelog: On Torture

Opinion • Views: 30,025

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 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.

^ back to top ^

TwitterFacebook

Turn off all ads for a full year by subscribing!
For about 33 cents a day (per month) or 22 cents a day (per year), our subscription option turns off all advertisements at LGF!
Read more...

► LGF Headlines

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Articles

  • Loading...

► Tweeted Pages

  • Loading...

► Top 10 Comments

  • Loading...

► Bottom Comments

  • Loading...

► Recent Comments

  • Loading...

► Tools/Info

► Tag Cloud

► Contact

You must have Javascript enabled to use the contact form.
Your email:

Subject:

Message:


Messages may be published unless you request otherwise.
Tech Note:
Using the Contact Form
LGF Pages

This button leads to the main index of LGF Pages, our user-submitted articles. You can post your own LGF Pages simply by registering a free account with us.

Create a Page

This 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: 2014-03-07 2:19 pm PST

LGF User's Guide
Recent Pages
Randall Gross
San Diego Comic Con 2014 (SDCC) Cosplay Music Video
To celebrate us recently hitting 100,000 Subscribers & 100 videos make sure you watch to the end for a little give away competition. To enter you must tweet us who you would like to see Nathan Fillion & Adam ...

5 hours, 2 minutes ago
Views: 77 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Rightwingconspirator
The Stark Beauty Of The Flaw In the Gem. Literally.
It's late, I'm beat and just signed off from a good discussion in Obdi's Page tonight. But I ran across this after signing out and had to share it. I found a kindred style of photography from a part of ...

1 day, 1 hour ago
Views: 192 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 9
CriticalDragon1177
Skepchick - Food is for White Liberals What Sex Is For The Religious Right
An interesting commentary by Julia Burke, on the obsession some people on the far left have with food, and how it is similar to how some people on right feel about sex. Do you agree? Do you think the analogy ...

1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 316 • Comments: 8
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
EiMitch
Cracked: 5 Reasons The Classic American Summer is Totally Dead
They could've called this article "Look at how 'supply-side' economics, anti-environmentalism, and all-around pro-oligarch legislation and ideology has destroyed some of the most iconic, classic Americana." cracked.com Oh, and gentrification-based laws are also robbing us of the classic ice-cream truck ...

1 day, 9 hours ago
Views: 214 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
_RememberTonyC
Qatar, Bergdahl, and Hamas
One thing we have learned in the current conflict is that Hamas has three main sponsors: Turkey, Iran, and Qatar. So when Bergdahl was released and the five taliban bigs were released into the "custody" of Qatar, we basically handed ...

2 days, 3 hours ago
Views: 189 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
Skip Intro
Outside Money Drives a Deluge of Political Ads
WASHINGTON -- An explosion of spending on political advertising on television -- set to break $2 billion in congressional races, with overall spots up nearly 70 percent since the 2010 midterm election -- is accelerating the rise of moneyed ...

3 days, 14 hours ago
Views: 234 • Comments: 1
Tweets: 4 • Rating: 3
Romantic Heretic
Preventing Poverty Not Allowed As A Goal for Charity
The Canada Revenue Agency (Canada's equivalent of the IRS) has told OXFAM Canada that it cannot list 'preventing poverty' as a goal, only 'alleviating' it. The reason is "Relieving poverty is charitable, but preventing it is not." This is just ...

6 days, 11 hours ago
Views: 533 • Comments: 12
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 5
FemNaziBitch
Safer Era Tests Wisdom of ‘Broken Windows’ Focus on Minor Crime
While the apparent chokehold fueled much of the initial public outcry, community leaders have begun asking whether focusing police officers so intently on such petty offenses makes sense in a city that is far different and far safer than ...

6 days, 18 hours ago
Views: 421 • Comments: 2
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 1
Mentis Fugit
Frisson
Over at the quirky Riddled blog, I encountered this music video link. I have the album, but I had last listened long ago, and I had forgotten the lyrics. The lengthy, moody intro slowly drew me back thirty five years, ...

1 week, 2 days ago
Views: 295 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 0 • Rating: 0
BadExampleMan
The painful futility of war
This makes me furious. These men pledged their loyalty to their country and their country betrayed them. It treated them as disposable, throwing their lives away in a war that was premised on lies, that was chosen gleefully, and that ...

1 week, 3 days ago
Views: 476 • Comments: 0
Tweets: 1 • Rating: 1
 Frank says:

The family was from Arkansas. The Dad (Dink) was a furniture salesman in San Bernardino, but back in the way-back-when he used to play 'bones' or 'spoons' in a minstrel show. To relive the golden days of yesteryear he would, from time to time, force his children to accompany him (Ronnie on guitar, Kenny on trombone) in a living room replay of a minstrel routine called "Lazy Bones."

The kids often found this to be an inconvenience, as they were fascinated by, and constantly perfecting new techniques for, The Manly Art Of Fart-Burning. Kenny explained to me that it was scientific - that it demonstrated (this is a real quote) "Compression, ignition, combustion and exhaust." -- Kenny & Ronnie Williams (later immortalized in "Let's Make The Water Turn Black").