Thursday, November 08, 2007

From the ''If it was good enough for Hitler...'' Dept.

''There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives.''
-Alan Dershowitz, in the Wall Street Journal

Incidentally, I don't know anybody who says that torture never works; what they say is that it's extremely stupid to use a method of gathering information that sometimes works, more often than not doesn't work, and in which it's not possible to tell the difference between when it's working and not working, simply because the Nazis had some luck with it. Oh, and some of the real odd-jobs, like myself, have argued that all modern democratic nations have a moral and legal imperative not to torture, ever, which has been generally understood since the Enlightenment. But, you know, since the Nazis were opposed to the Enlightenment...


Holly said...

Understanding a thing and feeling compelled to act on it are miles apart. Often it seems like these the space in between is used to set up a magnificent double standard.

Rufus said...

It seems that way. I sometimes wonder if there are any behaviors that are impossible to enact at this time.