Andrew Sullivan On Torture

Wild Bill forwarded me a link to one of Andrew Sullivan’s “posts of the year,” this one concerning the fact–yes, fact–that Americans, under the authority of Bush and Cheney, tortured a man they already knew not to be a terrorist of any kind. The post leaves the larger question of torturing in general mostly unexplored, and it may get sentimental about the Founders and their famous checks and balances, but judge for yourself, please:

Sullivan’s post on torture

The post also asserts–reasonably, in my opinion–that President Obama and Eric Holder are now complicit in such torture because they decided not to investigate, let alone prosecute.

Sullivan nicely describes the Legislative Branch as supine, and he alludes to how Bush, Cheney, and their operatives framed torture rhetorically.

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One Response to “Andrew Sullivan On Torture”

  1. wildbillhaltom Says:

    Yes, this is a subject on which admirers of Orwell must dwell. See Andrew Sullivan’s follow-up posting: http://andrewsullivan.theatlantic.com/the_daily_dish/2010/01/the-full-gitmo-list.html. Sullivan is on a crusade. Why aren’t we all?

    Among the studies Sullivan cites is a summary article by Stuart Taylor Jr. on February 7, 2006. I repeat a summary of Taylor’s summary: “The administration’s unspoken logic regarding enemy combatants appears to be: Better to ruin the lives of 10 innocent men than to let one who might be a terrorist go free.”

    Behold one Orwellian aspect of Dick Cheney’s famed “One-Percent Doctrine.” Author Ron Suskind thought it alarming that a powerful decision-maker in the Bush Administration argued that attacks with odds 100 to one against should be treated as certainties. The Atlantic‘s summary of Taylor’s summary reveals anew the far greater alarm: Cheney was euphemizing.

    I am not surprised that language aimed at mass media should misdirect media from what a public official does not want the attentive public to think about.

    Rather, my point is that shock and disgust assist officials in misleading us. When we encounter language with some calculable impact, we must look for ramifications from which our own reactions distract us.

    In addition, the Obama Administration cannot be unaware of what Cheney and the Bush Administration were doing.


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