Wednesday, March 09, 2005

Making Excuses for Torturers

Okay, I'm no interrogration expert, but this explanation of extraordinary rendition is bullshit.

Sorry, we have to send terrorists to their home countries so they can be confronted by their families? Because...we can't bring their families here? Does the CIA not understand how planes work? Not only can you bring people from the US to Syria, but you can also bring them from Syria to the US! Shocking, really, the wonders of modern technology.

More seriously, arguments like these need to be challenged because they provide cover for a bad policy. America has already sent an innocent man to Syria where he was tortured. Do you think this makes Osama bin Laden more or less credible to recruits when he claims that the Middle East is run by evil puppet regimes that hurt Arabs in order to make America happy? Naive and credulous defenses of bad policies like these are a big part of the reason "America is losing a public relations war in the Muslim world to people sawing off the heads of other Muslims."

And what's even more appalling is that all the arguments in this article are tremendously weak, so weak that they're laughable. They remind me of the arguments used to justify slavery in the 1800's--they would only be persuasive to an audience that wanted to be persuaded, that desperately wanted an excuse to continue to pursue an evil and destructive policy.

Gak, it's one thing to make excuses for torturers. It's quite another to accept transparently false ones.


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