Published April 24, 2009
A lot of media types have been making grand pronouncements on the topic of torture, the gist being: This is America and America doesn't torture. If so, then I'm not sure I want to be part of that America.
Now, I want you to imagine that you've got a mom or a dad working at the Library Building in L.A. Imagine also that a CIA interrogator has captured a terrorist with real knowledge on a plot to level that building in days. If that terrorist does not reveal that info, your parent dies.
Fact: If a loved one is going to be killed shortly and an agent is holding a dude with knowledge that could stop that, you sure as hell want that agent to have every option at his disposal.
I mean, imagine if he said, "Well, the suspect didn't tell us anything. We asked him over and over, but he still said nothing. We did all we could do. Sorry about your dad."
That is what happens when you take interrogation techniques off the table. Because all you have left is a shrug, followed by tragedy.
And while I believe in the grand concept of America, it doesn't mean much when the concept allows for the death of thousands of innocent Americans.
Now, this ticking time bomb scenario probably doesn't happen very often, but then interrogation techniques would be just as rare. Which is why this "we're America; we don't torture" argument bores me.
Of course we don't torture. Only, however, when we have to.
That's what's great about America: Anything can happen.
And if you disagree with me, then you sir are worse than Hitler.