Thursday, December 13, 2007

Guzzling the Kool Aid

Speaking on NPR's Talk of the Nation today, author Ronald Kessler criticized the media for publishing the fact that U.S. intelligence services have use waterboarding techniques. That information, he says, hurt U.S. efforts because when potential enemies are being waterboarded, they will be emboldened by the knowledge that it's only "simulated" drowning.

I am sure the many despotic governments in the world who "simulate" a respect for human rights and international law understand his perspective very well.

He may be right, though. Torture is like a hiccup cure, it only really work when it comes as a surprise.

I guess no one should break it to a dogged investigator like Kessler that these "secret" techniques have a long and dirty history and have even been documented in U.S. military manuals. Or that the reason the use of torture would have been secret at all is because the rest of the world believes the U.S. wouldn't stoop to such methods (or already believes we do an thus there is no benefit either). 

We wouldn't want to put him out or force him to think of other reasons the U.S.'s efforts to stop terrorism and the world's trust besides the media's effort to undercut our homeland.

- Murphy