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Torture, cont.

I wondering if people here think that waterboarding really isn’t torture and agree with all the apologists reasoning which claims ‘enhanced interrogation’ isn’t really torture (thus making it legal).  By the way, everyone should read those memos released recently.  Here is a great response to the apologists by Andrew Sullivan (in full):

One way to look at how the Bush administration redefined torture out of existence, so that it could, er, torture human beings, is to compare their criteria for “enhanced interrogation” with those for rape. Raping someone need not leave any long-term physical scars; it certainly doesn’t permanently impair any bodily organ; it has no uniquely graphic dimensions […] So ask yourself: if Abu Zubaydah had been raped 83 times, would we be talking about no legal consequences for his rapist – or the people who monitored and authorized the rape?

I think this line of reasoning is solid.  It also offers an adequate response to Mark Thiessen, who criticized Hitchen’s judgement of labeling waterboarding as torture.  Thiessen said, “if you’re willing to try it to see what it feels like, it’s not torture…”  To which I would respond, although Hitchens and others are willing to “try waterboarding” they aren’t undergoing the true experience of it.  It’s like saying that if people are willing to have someone penetrate them sexually you can’t define forced sex as rape.

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