Monday, August 23, 2010
That slippery slope
Sorry for the light posting--August is always a busy month. I have a post planned for this week about the problem with framing the debate about torture around the definition of torture.
In the meantime, Stephan Pastis of Pearls Before Swine shows, in the comic linked above, what can happen when you give governments the power to torture. Okay, it's humor, and I don't expect librarians to torture people who turn in books late--but that's the problem with granting government the authority to do evil: there's no guarantee that the evil will never be done to you.
We've already heard about pro-life activists placed on government "watch lists" for peaceful protesting and other free-speech activities. And I've read, on other blogs, calls for American prisoners--that is, American citizens arrested and charged with crimes--to be tortured in order for the truth about the crimes to be discovered.
This is why it's important to oppose torture even when the arguments are that it is necessary for American safety, will only be used against foreign criminals and terrorists, etc. Because once the government has the power to torture anybody, there's no guarantee that they will restrict this evil to foreign prisoners, or criminals, or terrorists. None whatsoever.