Friday, March 12, 2010

"Proud" of waterboarding?

Karl Rove thinks America should be proud of waterboarding:

The man known for much of his career as “Bush’s brain” has caused a storm of protest by saying that he is proud of waterboarding and other “enhanced interrogation techniques” used on prisoners by the US and internationally condemned as torture. Karl Rove said that the Administration “broke the will of these terrorists and gave us valuable information”.

In a new memoir of his years as President Bush’s chief political strategist, Mr Rove says that he was not told at the time of the President’s decision to authorise waterboarding — which feels to its victims like drowning — but he defends the move, claims that senior Democrats “were complicit in its use” and denies that it amounts to torture. [...]

Pressed on his personal view of waterboarding, Mr Rove told the BBC: “I’m proud that we kept the world safer than it was, by the use of these techniques. They’re appropriate, they’re in conformity with our international requirements and with US law.”

What do we even say to this?

If we could make the world a safer place by dropping nuclear bombs on random targets in the Mideast, would that make it right--something to be proud of?

If we could make the world a safer place by carrying on a program of genocide against the Islamic peoples of the world, would that make it right--something to be proud of?

Saying we should be proud that the world is "safer" because of waterboarding isn't much different than saying we should be proud that health care is "cheaper" because of all those babies who were aborted before their health care could cost us any real money. We condemn the one without hesitation. So ought we condemn the other.


  1. Mr. Rove fails to foresee that fallen man often needs saving from himself, and that the only avenue to this is Grace. And Grace rewards a humble man - exaltavit humiles. Pride goes before a fall. I fully acknowledge that Mr. Rove has something to be "proud" of, and I think that his pride it in presages what so many similar prides have preceded in the past. America, as all great civilizations, stands the greatest risk of decay from within. We would do well to pay more attention to that "threat" than the "what ifs" of a troubled world...

  2. they’re in conformity with our international requirements

    How's that for neo-con creepyspeak?

    Scott W.

  3. Would someone explain to me the following:
    In the setting of a "just war" (assuming one exists, theoretically) it is moral to knife, shoot or explode the enemy to death, or maim him, in order to try to shorten the conflict.
    Why then is it immoral to torture him, to achieve the same purpose?

  4. It is moral to fight an enemy when he is a combatant. Once he is captured however, he is either a prisoner of war or a criminal or war criminal and moral law is very clear about how they may be treated.