Thursday, November 01, 2007

Mukasey and waterboarding

Lex and the Daily Punctilio (aka the Journal Gazette) are at it again. Here’s the exchange:

From the Daily Punctilio, Furthermore section of the editorial page Wed Oct 31, 07:

SOME MAY ARGUE that torture, like art, can be difficult to define.

But waterboarding is the Monet of torture.

Every civilized person should agree it is torture. And using waterboarding and similar techniques on a prisoner, enemy combatant or any human being is clearly a violation of the Geneva Conventions. Democratic and Republican Senate leaders who are threatening to withhold their votes to confirm Judge Michael Mukasey’s nomination for attorney general are right to demand he share his opinions on employing torture. He should confirm that he understands torture is illegal before he is confirmed as attorney general.

Lex responds:

Are the JG staffers who wrote and edited the piece on Judge Mukasey (Furthermore Wed Oct 31, 07) pushing a political agenda or just uninformed – willfully so? Oh wait, it’s the JG. So it’s always an uninformed political agenda. First, enemy combatants are not waterboared. US Army Field Manual 34-52 expressly forbids US military personnel from using that technique.

Enemy combatants and the US military aren’t the problem. The murky area in this messy business is the stateless Islamo-terror-fascist (i.e. Sheik Kalid Mohammad) committed to destroying everything and anything that doesn’t conform to his 7th century way of thinking. These high-value prisoners do not move through the military system.

Next, the statement that Democrat and Republican Senate leaders are right to demand Mukasey share his opinion on torture (presumably waterboarding), is a bit peculiar in that the Senate itself has twice taken up the issue of waterboarding, and twice the Senate has failed to outlaw the procedure. So we have the same preening gasbag class that populates much of Washington DC demanding Mukasey condemn something that they twice failed to condemn themselves. Hypocrisy doesn’t come close to describing their behavior – cowardice is a much more accurate word.

Last, it must be so easy to take the moral high ground when you have nothing at risk. How wonderful it must be to sit in a comfortable room, contemplating the abstract, ignorant of the threat, penning self righteous editorials tisk-tisking the efforts of those with the responsibility for the safety of the free world. I’d be interested to see how long it would take the holier-than-thou people at the JG to start shoving bamboo splinters under a terrorist’s finger nails if the thing that they held most dear were put at risk. If you say you would do nothing, you're most likely a liar or a coward.

No comments: