Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Matt Taibbi: Anti-Torture Is Not Treason

Matt Taibbi is a writer for Rolling Stone, who I have seen on Real Time with Bill Maher several times, including last Friday. This week he wrote an excellent blog post about how "pro-torture" critics are bending the argument out of shape: Being anti-torture doesn’t make you pro-terrorist

Here’s a snippet from one letter I got: “What really gets me about liberals like you is that when other countries torture and kill our people, and cut off their heads, [there's] not a peep from you. But you dunk some terrorist’s head underwater for a few minutes and you go all weepy.”


It’s the same thing with this torture business. There are a lot of people in this country who genuinely believe that torture opponents are “not upset” about things like 9/11 or the beheading of American hostages. The idea that “no one complains when Americans are murdered” is crazy — of course we “complained,” and of course we’d all like to round up those machete-wielding monsters and shoot them into space — but these people really believe this, they really believe that torture opponents are secretly unimpressed/untroubled by Islamic terrorism, at least as compared to American “enhanced interrogation.” For them to believe that, they must really believe that such people are traitors, nursing a secret agenda (an agenda perhaps unknown even to themselves, their America-hatred being ingrained so deep) against their own country. Which is really an amazing thing for large numbers of Americans to believe about another large group of Americans, when you think about it.

I have noticed myself there is popular a "whose side are you on" counter-argument to this issue. That's ridiculous. If torture is considered un-effective and is really bad for the American image in the Middle East, isn't it patriotic to call it a wrong strategy?

Do you put your seal of approval on those of those sick scenes from the Abu Graib scandal? Well you must if you are a pro-torture patriot. But don't be surprised if some folks don't want that to have America's name behind it.

via: Andrew Sullivan

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