If the CIA torture memos tell us anything, it’s that Americans still have a long way to go towards civility. When disenfranchised youths flew planes into buildings, it should have been a time of quiet introspection. Instead, Americans gave into baser emotions and demanded vengeance against our “attackers.” Since we had the barbaric Bush administration in charge, they gave into those demands and soon loosed the sadistic Cheney, who took a break from blasting his friends in the face with a shotgun to turn his violence on foreign minorities. Pretty soon our intelligence agencies had grabbed some random Arab terrorist masterminds off the street and started inconveniencing them, making them uncomfortable, and — dare I say it — torturing them.
And now we are no better than they are. Less better even.
A civilized nation should never torture. Period. Ever, for any reason. No matter how many lives are at stake. It always just reduces us to animals that thirst for the pain of others. We say we want it to stop “terrorists” from killing us, but if in the process we murder our own humanity, what’s the point? And anyway, torture doesn’t work. I don’t care what basic logic or common sense or history tells you. It never works. Ever. That’s what studies say. Scientific ones where, to test the efficacy, they tortured monkeys to see if they could get the monkeys to talk, and none of them ever did. So with that issue settled, for what other reason could we be seeking torture but inhuman sadistic pleasure?
Yes, some are claiming that the torturing of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed saved thousands of people from a plot to blow up the Library Tower in Los Angeles, but that’s ridiculous. First of all, if they really got useful information, then they obviously didn’t use torture because it’s a well-known fact that torture doesn’t work (remember the studies I mentioned). But they claimed they used waterboarding, which they say is not torture but we all know is totally torture. I mean, they hold someone down and pour water — real water — on his face; try that on a cat and see if it acts like that isn’t torture. Thus, since waterboarding is torture, it obviously didn’t cause KSM to give up information because torture doesn’t work. Thus, he must have given up the information for reasons completely unrelated to the waterboarding.
Now look at what we (and by we, I mean you, because I’m not a part of this) have become. Torturers. And what did we gain? Information on a terror plot that was probably never going to happen in the first place. And even if it was going to happen, it’s not like thousands of people don’t die in LA every year anyway. Plus, “Library Tower” isn’t actually a library. So we gained nothing, and we debased ourselves by becoming nothing more than common Cheneys. Just because someone masterminded a plot that killed thousands doesn’t make it right to pour water on him.
So I hope your bloodthirst has been quenched, you mindless barbarians. You may say Khalid Sheikh Mohammed is “evil,” but then I ask, “Who is holding whom hostage and pouring water on his face?” No wonder the rest of the world looks at us and sees who the real terrorists are. This is what our torture has done to us. And I weep.
So what can we do to get information from those who supposedly want to kill us while not destroying our own humanity? Just because we think someone has some information we want doesn’t mean we have a right to tear into him like a three- year-old with a Christmas present. First, we should take a long look at ourselves. Second, we should examine whether we have any right to restrict their freedom in the first place. Third, more introspection. Finally, we use civilized means to get to the information: We ask. First we say, “Well, Mohammed, how are you? Can we get you a drink? Are the uncovered female guards offending you? Would you like us to do something about that?” Then we ask if he has any terror plots he’d like to tell us about. See, we relate to him, and instead of extracting the information, we get him to share it.
Now, some people may still not give up the information because they cling to some very valid grievances against us. In those situations, we may resort to pestering. We will ask the detainee to “please” give us the information. If he refuses, we are then allowed to ask him to “pretty please” give us the information. If that still doesn’t work, we can have a court review the situation and decide whether to allow us to ask him to “pretty please with sugar on top” give us the information. Any more questions than that would just be pointless annoyances, which is the same as torture and thus demeans us as a nation.
If there is a ticking time bomb situation (which is pretty much just TV fiction, anyway), then there is one more extreme measure to use. We will withhold the things terrorists desire the most: hugs. Terrorists feel they have been oppressed by all of society (especially the Jew part of society) throughout their lives and thus are always in dire need of hugs. But if lives are at stake (and only if), we may withhold those hugs until information is given.
On second thought, that’s inhuman. They are just all in such need of hugs!
Anyway, this is how civilized people behave. We are nothing but worthless, stupid savages if we support roughness against those we label as “evil” just because they blew up our citizens for what we consider to be unjust reasons. Thus I applaud President Obama for ending our mean treatment of detainees, but I also urge him to really show the world America has turned a new leaf. We must give the rest of the world what it demands to show we are ready to join the civilized. Thus, all of the Bush administration and every CIA agent must be arrested and publicly beaten for their extreme evil.
Never again should we turn to torture no matter how we are tempted. When once again innocent people are dying, our weaker and more brutal citizens will demand we use torture against the enemy to try and save them. But those of us with superior morals should not listen. I will not feel the need to harm a terrorist just because I see people dying. I’m not a psychopath. I can watch innocent people die and not bat an eye.