Wednesday, April 22, 2009

An Examination of Torture

The subject of torture is a difficult one to broach and examine. Its inherent sensitivity renders it a particularly incendiary topic, and it presents some very unpleasant questions.

As a former Marine Infantryman, I can recall how our intelligence units would interrogate certain detainees for information pertaining to the area and even their knowledge of the “Bigger Fish”. I remember being on heightened alert after various enemy combatants were “processed” due to the unveiling of threats unknown prior to the capture.

Lives were saved, families were spared the agony of a lost loved one, and another day dawned to which we were awake.

The same effect is evident following the torture of numerous known terrorists in recent years, but the very idea of torture is disturbing or even abhorrent to some people.

I must admit unease in regards to it myself.

However, allow me to put this into some perspective.

These cases are not isolated incidents of randomly captured individuals; they are hardened terrorists whose goals are your demise. They are actively seeking the means to destroy everything that they can that has anything to do with America. They are vile and inhuman people who would kill you and your whole family if given half a chance. They were identified through intelligence networks as key members of various organizations whose ultimate interests lie in the removal of Democracy from the world to be replaced by their theocratic dictatorships of oppression. They are incapable of accepting rehabilitation, they cannot be “cured” or won over, and they will continue their evil enterprises upon release from their incarceration.

In short, they deserve much worse than the current treatment that many of them now enjoy in places like Guantanamo Bay.

In light of recent reports suggesting that 9/11-scale attacks were avoided by the use of “enhanced interrogation” techniques, I would still caution against its widespread use, if at all. The danger that I see is precedent.

We of the Right have pointed out the Law of Unintended Consequences as the bane of the Left for some time now, but it works both ways, and I will cite the Slippery Slope that can best be exampled by the expression, “Where does it stop?” We have given the legitimate arguments that if we allow for the Re-definition of Marriage for homosexuals; will we be opening the door for adult-children unions later? How about adults and animals, or even inanimate objects? If we make provisions for the Legalization of Marijuana, when will we be allowing for Cocaine and Opium to be legalized? They are also grown naturally, right (the difference is chemical processing, but that's another post...)?

Humor me as I present a hypothetical and admittedly extreme scenario:

You own a large arsenal of firearms (so far, not a stretch?) and in six years time, the 2nd Amendment is repealed, effectively making all your guns illegal. You must surrender them to the proper authorities, or face investigation and subsequent prosecution by the Federal Government. With your weapons legally registered with the local law enforcement, it is easily discovered that you have hidden them in a cache somewhere. In a vocal protest that is televised, you state something to the effect of “Molon Labe” and make some reference to “your cold dead hand”. The Feds arrive and take you to an undisclosed location and proceed to submit you to waterboarding and other forms of torture until you relinquish the where-abouts of your firearms.

Sounds crazy? In a world that saw the DHS issue an unrepentant report that labels returning veterans of OIF/OEF as (paraphrased) “at-risk to be enlisted or recruited into Right-wing Extremist groups and racist organizations”? Food for thought…

I don’t have an answer, but perhaps we should be more cynical or critical of issues and ideologies that we are only currently happy with the results of. Otherwise, something like this could severely bite us in the hindquarters.