If the Nazis could make it work, why not us?
This is an unusual rhetorical gambit from Alan Dershowitz:
Marginal Democratic candidates certainly benefit from moving to the left on national security issues, but serious candidates–candidates who want to have any realistic chance of prevailing in the general election–must not allow themselves to be pushed, shoved or even nudged away from a strong commitment to national security.
Consider, for example, the contentious and emotionally laden issue of the use of torture in securing preventive intelligence information about imminent acts of terrorism…
There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works–it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.
You know, I was on the fence there about torture, until Dershowitz pointed out it really worked well for the Nazis! Color me convinced!
posted by Jonathan Schwarz at 11:35 AM | link
UPDATE: For all of you Compassionate "Christian" Conservatives who are still "confused" about this issue: Yes, waterboarding is torture. To wit:
Waterboarding was torture when it was used during the Spanish Inquisition; it was torture when it was used on Filipino rebels during the 1890s; it was torture when the Japanese Army used it on prisoners in World War II; it was torture when it was used by the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia; and it's torture when CIA officers or others use it on terrorists.
When George W. Bush was the governor of Texas, the state investigated, indicted, convicted and sentenced to prison for 10 years a county sheriff who, with his deputies, had waterboarded a criminal suspect. That sheriff got no pardon from Gov. Bush.
Waterboarding is torture in the eyes of all civilized peoples, no matter how desperately President George W. Bush tries to rewrite the English language, with which he has only a passing familiarity, anyway. No matter how desperately his entire administration tries to redefine the word "torture" to cover the fact that not only have they acquiesced in its use, but they also have ordered its use.
Waterboarding is torture. Decent people have acknowledged that for centuries. We sent Japanese war criminals to the gallows for using it. We sent a Texas sheriff to prison for using it. One day, an ex-president and those who helped him and those he ordered to torture fellow human beings may have to plea bargain for their lives and their freedom.