"And what does the LORD require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God"
-- Micah 6:8

"The duty of the prosecutor is to seek justice, not merely to convict."
-- American Bar Association Standard 3-1.2(c)

"There may be a legitimate diversity of opinion even among Catholics about waging war and applying the death penalty, but not however with regard to abortion and euthanasia."
--Pope Benedict XVI, June 2004

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Torture, Again

Papa Shea is on a tear again about torture, even though, as I documented here, he finally was compelled to admit that not all physical compulsion constitutes torture, thus backing down from his prior, absolutist, no-compulsion-is-permissible stance.

Now he's insisting on the "golden rule" doctrine of prisoner treatment, i.e., our guys should treat all enemies they capture the way our guys would like to be treated if captured by the enemy. Shea cites this blogger, who found the "golden rule" doctrine in his old Army manual from the mid-1980s.

The problem with all this is that while the "golden rule" might apply to how we treat surrending enemy combatants, it does not apply to captured terrorists (who are not "lawful combatants" under the Geneva Convention) who may have life-saving and time sensitive intelligence that needs to be ferreted out.

More importantly, as I have exhaustively shown before, international and domestic definitions of torture, some of which have even been endorsed by the Holy See, permit lesser, "non-torture" coercive measures to be taken against detained individuals. Now, no one would want to undergo these non-torture, coercive means of gathering intelligence, such as sleep deprivation, room temperature manipulation, loud music, forced standing, etc. Yet their use is proper under the correct circumstances.

So please, Papa Mark, try not to obfuscate the issue by claiming that our guys can never treat a captured terrorist other than the way our guys would hope to be treated if captured. In the alternative, can we agree that if AlQaeda captures one of our guys, and the guy was planning to blow up innocent women and children in some Moslem city, that our guy ought to expect that he will be coerced into giving his interrogators what they need to thwart such an immoral attack?

More on this here:

"Pounding the Table"

"Defining Terms"

"Miranda v. Arizona as 'Torture'"

"In the Ghetto"

"Torture By Overstuffing"

"More on Gestalt Morality"

"He Should Have Been a Lawyer"


Christopher Fotos said...

Tom, don't know if you have time to keep track of these things, but the latest post by Torq at The Coaliton for Fog may interest you.

Christopher Fotos said...

ach, obviously you're aware, you're posting over at CAEI! Never mind!