Thursday, December 11, 2014

Why Is the GOP Happy to be called the Torture Party?

I could pick any GOPer -- other than John McCain -- but Georgia
Senator Saxby Chambliss came out hard against the torture report.

John Dickerson had a column in Slate stating that the torture report would have an unexpected effect -- raising the level of support for torture among Americans -- and I dismissed it out of hand until I read it. Yes, by converting torture from something that's illegal, against our principles, and forbidden by more than one convention or treaty we've signed, we've turned torture into a policy debate.

I don't know whether to cry or swear, but Dickerson's right. Support for torture is rising since the report was issued, as we watch endless discussions about its morality, efficacy, or its droniness -- yes, a major defense of torture is DRONES!! Fuck.

I don't know exactly where I stand on drones, I admit, but parse this statement: I was against torture until I really thought about DRONES.

What confounds me, though, is that when I sift through WaPo articles' comment sections, torture gets the wingnut vote. Hell, even Chris Matthews was having "policy discussions" about torture's efficacy. "Did it save lives?" (We don't know, but the Senate report says no.) "Did it work?" (What the fuck does that mean? In the right context, murder "works." I hated my girlfriend, so I killed her. It worked!)

Next, I went to the National Review and comments on a Rich Lowry pro-torture post were all -- 100% -- not only in favor of torture but also saying it wasn't punishing enough. "If I had my way, godammit, I'd, uh..."

Oh well. Just another day that I wish I'd stayed in the Netherlands when they offered me citizenship back during the Vietnam War. (Oh, no, the old Love It Or Leave It conundrum...)

But seriously, we're having a policy debate on torture. That's really, really American, it seems.

I know, I keep going back to Abu Ghraib for photos, but the CIA
didn't take any Polaroids at the black sites (that we know of).

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