Friday, March 20, 2015

No Immunity for Those Who Torture (a Quick Note)

The logic is really quite simple.

      If the threat to the American people (or whomever) is sufficiently great to justify my torturing someone, it should be sufficiently great that I'd be willing to die or go to prison to meet that threat.

      If I am not willing to face a death penalty — or far more probably some government agent isn't willing even to do serious jail time — then the situation isn't serious enough to warrant torture.

In any event, torture should be treated as a crime as serious as murder, and punished as severely. If there are mitigating circumstances, such as actually finding the ticking hydrogen bomb (so to speak) and saving Dallas from annihilation, let the relevant Executive commute the sentence after a few years of imprisonment, and perhaps give the criminal a medal.

If torture is not treated as a major felony, it can become routine, and far too often, it does.

If patriotic cops and CIA agents are unwilling to risk execution or even just a few years of hard time to prevent some disaster, they don't find the threat existential — and they're probably correct.

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