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Sunday, May 3, 2009

Liberal Hypocrisy is Nearly ‘Torture’

It is refreshing to see that so many liberals have discovered their moral compass. In their lust to claim the moral high ground over conservatives, along with their lust to discredit the previous administration and all of its conservative policies (and to prosecute as many of them as possible), liberals have decided that the “torture” of three al Qaeda figures in 2002 and 2003 is the issue with which to pursue their desired ends.

Liberals are throwing the word “torture” around much like they do the words “homophobe” and “racist.” “Homophobe” and “racist” are popular liberal “snarl” words—words that, when used, are intended to induce a negative response, appealing to a person’s emotions rather than their reasoning. The word “torture” is well on its way to becoming liberals’ newest and most favorite “snarl” word.

In other words, say the word “torture” enough when discussing the “evil” Bush administration, and perhaps Americans will be more supportive of liberal efforts to jail as many Bush officials as possible.

Near the heart-of-the-matter in this debate is the interrogation procedure with which we have all become too familiar: waterboarding. According to many different sources, waterboarding was used on only three al Qaeda figures: Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, Abu Zubayda and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri.

Also, as many have recently pointed out, these “enhanced interrogations,” as they were officially known, produced “high value information,” as Obama's director of national intelligence, Dennis Blair, acknowledges. Former CIA Director George Tenet in 2007 said, “I know that this program [of “enhanced interrogations”] has saved lives. I know we've disrupted plots. I know this program alone is worth more than [what] the FBI, the CIA, and the National Security Agency put together have been able to tell us.”

Michael Hayden, another former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, said recently that, “the use of these techniques against these terrorists made us safer. It really did work.”

Furthermore, it seems that Congress was kept well abreast of the program. In the words of Representative Peter Hoekstra, “We believed it was something that had to be done in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks to keep our nation safe. After many long and contentious debates, Congress repeatedly approved and funded this program on a bipartisan basis in both Republican and Democratic Congresses.”

Of course, the mere fact that something worked and was approved by Congress doesn’t make it right and just. There are significant legal and moral issues in play when it comes to enhanced interrogation (or “torture”). Reasonable, sincere, and moral people have come down on both sides of this difficult issue.

Now I can respect an honest and consistent ethic (though I believe it is quite wrong) that lovingly honors human dignity (at every phase of life), and concludes that torture (whatever that is) is “intrinsically evil.” The Catholic Church takes such a position.

However, what I can’t respect, in fact what I loathe, is the reeking hypocrisy of those who condemn the “torture” of three known terrorists, (who had long before 9/11 declared war on the U.S., and who are still alive and breathing on the U.S. taxpayers’ dime), while supporting a procedure which has resulted in the slaughter of millions of human beings still in their mothers’ wombs.

For example, consider the recent “moral” clamoring on the issue of torture from three well known and widely read liberal columnists. Paul Krugman wrote, “the only way we can regain our moral compass…for the sake of our own national conscience, is to investigate how [the “torture’] happened, and, if necessary, to prosecute those responsible… because it’s about reclaiming America’s soul.”

Cynthia Tucker added, “If we’re the ‘shining city upon a hill,’ ‘the last, best hope of earth,’ aren’t we required to inhabit a higher moral plane than homicidal theo-fascists?” Eugene Robinson concluded that, “On the moral question, the [current] administration has been straightforward and righteous. One of President Obama's first acts was to declare that the United States will no longer practice waterboarding or other abusive interrogation methods, saying that such depredations are inimical to our nation's values and traditions.”

Now these columnists paint a clear picture of the bizarre liberal morality (notice how each invokes the term) which condemns “torture” but is deeply supportive of abortion “rights.” What kind of “morality” must one possess that allows for such duplicity? Whatever absurd set of principles tolerates such foolishness, I want no part of it. Paraphrasing the words of Christ, Why do they look at the speck of sawdust in their brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in their own eye? You hypocrites first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.

Copyright 2009, Trevor Grant Thomas
At the Intersection of Politics, Science, Faith, and Reason
Trevor and his wife Michelle are the authors of: Debt Free Living in a Debt Filled World
tthomas@trevorgrantthomas.com

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