Wednesday, December 07, 2005

The Case For Torture?

Condolezza Rice thinks Europeans should be grateful to the US for setting up secret jails in Europe as it saves Europe from terror. Well the Bush Administration is certainly not the first government in history to find that torture is sometimes a good thing. Torture has existed about as long as human government has existed. And I seriously doubt that Condi will be the last to make the case against things like the Geneva Conventions.

I have to admit that the Bush Administration's policy of incarcerating people outside America confuses me. Without getting into the morality or immorality of it if you're a democracy - why go abroad to do things your own laws prohibit?If you need new laws for the treatment of prisoners for security or whatever purposes why not just change your own laws & make provisions for that instead of constantly finding yourself in a position where you have to make awkward & lame-sounding excuses for doing in secret what you couldn't do in public?

To me it seems a cumbersome, tortuous & confused means of doing things. Is it that the administration doesn't think it can convince its people to approve new laws?But then doesn't that just mean that the entire concept of rule of the people doesn't work because the people don't know what's good for them and should therefore not be allowed to rule?

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6 Comments:

Blogger Jane said...

Here's the thing...most Americans had NO idea that there were secret prisions abroad until just recently. That is the sneakiness of our current administration. But I think you hit the nail on the head...our government has pretty much been doing whatever it wants, despite public opinion. The idea seems to be that they know what is good for us better than we do. I am sickened by what has been perpetrated by the military in secret. Torture, secret prisions, chemical warfare...I am so frustrated and fed up by it all. It is out of control and I cannot see how this will help the "war on terror" or America's image overseas. It would seem that the US motto is now "Do as we say, not as we do." Hypocrites.

12/07/2005 04:41:00 PM  
Blogger Alina said...

Lou, please let me express how grateful I am: people don't usually talk of Romania, so I must say thank you to the US that now it is spoken of regarding CIA prisons on its territory. So I should take a moment to say thank you for this bad image...:(

12/08/2005 12:10:00 AM  
Blogger LouLou said...

Jane,

Hypocrisy & politics go hand in hand. This is why I think a critical, sceptical public is of essence in a democracy. Once the people start blindly trusting those in power & thinking absolute good exists & our government is it, democracy stops working.

Personally this depresses me. Secret prisons & secret evidence sounds so MiddleEastern & mukhabarat. Those of us who aspire to democracy do so because we think it will mean we won't have to live with this sort of thing anymore. Otherwise what's the point?

I used to believe this could never happen in America. Then I told myself ok it's a temporary abberration because of Sept.11 but it will pass & it surely will never happen in Europe. But it seems even established, mature Westminister democracies are not above torture. Or above handing over suspects for torture in secret to despotic regimes that they condemn in public.

Kayla,

Don't worry about the image. Like I said Romania is not alone. But I think you should thank your government before you thank Dubya. Just like I don't get why the US has to do this behind it's own people's back I don't get why the European governments involved didn't come clean with their people from the beginning. I mean that. Why not make the case for torture or moderate bodily pressure or whatever they want to call it in public?I for one am intensely curious to hear this. And I'd have so many questions.

12/08/2005 01:15:00 AM  
Blogger Twosret said...

The funny thing is that they are invading Iraq to save it's people from Saddam who torture people.

I have to admit that this administration can get away with anything, if they can get away with the WMD story.

12/08/2005 05:57:00 AM  
Blogger Alina said...

Lou, I know my government is weak. After the revolution, they were so eager to get accepted in NATO that hey said yes to everything. At least they don't discriminate, they also do everything EU tells them to, as long as it does not affect their income to much :D. I wish we could have better politicians here, not these bozoes that only think of getting rich or richer fast!

12/08/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger programmer craig said...

"Here's the thing...most Americans had NO idea that there were secret prisions abroad until just recently."

Really? Don't you recall the Cathloic nun (from Latin America) who did a hunger strike in front of the Clinton White House, back in the 90s? That's a story I'd rather not repeat, but it was a very BIG story.

This isn't Bush's fault. It's America's fault. It's specifically the CIA's fault. This is business as usual for the CIA. They figure as long as their own hands are clean, they are innocent of wrong doing. Whether it's technically "legal" or not is irrelevant, it's morally wrong.

But Jane, I really don't think if you polled Americans that a mojority of them would object to it. I hate to say that, but I think it's true. It's not accurate to imply that this sort of thing only happens because most people "don't know" about it.

But really... for the Europeans to be claiming the moral high ground on the torture issue... that's just too much. I suppose they'd like to pretend that's yesterday's news, wouldn't they? They've cleaned up their act since the last time they fought a war, right?

Well. We'll see.

12/09/2005 10:49:00 AM  

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