April 26, 2006

Torture. Is. Wrong.

I don't often disagree with EU Referendum but this is a case where we defiantly disagree.

Torture is wrong, absolutely and unequivocally. There are no situations where it is acceptable. No mitigating circumstances. None. It is a barbaric practice that has absolutely no place in Western society, trying to claim that you where 'just obeying orders' does not cut it. Bringing this dark practice out into daylight is always a good thing, trying to stop it should always be praised. Mary McCarthy had some unfortunate personal motives, and the Pulitzer Prize commitee that awarded Dana Priest for her story based on McCarthy's (alleged) leaks certainly did as well.

But even if her motives where dishonorable then that is reduce to insignificance by what they motivated her to do. Trying to underhandedly advance your career is nothing, NOTHING when compared to authorising torture. If
The CIA leakers are arrogating to themselves the right to subvert the policy of a twice-elected Administration.
then that is good. Everybody has the right to protect their fundamental Rights, and the Rights of others. That is what Rights are for. Rights protect people from the State.

This is not some Tony Bliar style crap about the 'right not to get blown up'. Anyone doing that is breaking the law, those people are criminals and can be dealt with in the normal criminal way. A right is different from a law. Laws are what the State imposes on the individual, like not killing other people, but rights are laws that are imposed on the state. Without them we are left with the tyranny of the majority and the terror of the General Will.

There are some things that the State simply cannot be allowed to do, ever. No matter what powers it gives itself, no matter how it wriggles and tries to throw up a wall of 'plausible deniability' there are limits beyond which the State is not allowed if it is to consider itself civilised. Small things like not presuming guilt without a proper trial or not punishing people beyond what is just, both concepts torture drives a coach and horses through.


Blogger tomdg said...

"Without them we are left with the tyranny of the majority and the terror or the General Will." This I think is a really perceptive and important point. I made a similar point myself on the Liberty Central forum (under "Right to life") but you make it far better and more succinctly.

I completely agree with you about torture being absolutely unacceptable. Alas, I think these days our view on this is carefully portrayed as naïve thinking from a bygone age. But it's not. Torture is always wrong.

There was an episode of spooks which addressed this issue - did you see it?

7:39 am  

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