Saturday, April 25, 2009

Pro Libertate: The Triumph of the Torture State

Pro Libertate Blog has a good post on torture (and specifically controlled drowning-i.e. waterboarding).

I admit that this subject of torture ("enhanced interrogation techniques") is one that I tend to flip-flop on.

Part of me wants to say the "enemy" doesn't deserve any rights and the ends always justify the means regardless of what kind of "interrogation technique" used. We now know that Khalid Sheikh Mohammad was captured supposedly as a result of information gained by these sort of "interrogation techniques" and we're told that this information has saved countless American lives. But all at what cost?

This very opinion is one that many "terrorist" Muslims point to as a reasoning for their attacking of America and I know that our founding fathers would disagree with an "ends justify the means" approach to treatment of prisoners (even "enemy combatants") in the name of keeping the American public safe.

A wise man once said, "Those who would give up Essential Liberty to purchase a little Temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety," and I heartily agree.

My litmus test has always been, would you want your government to have this power/right to exercise over you?

What if something crazy happened and our government more resembled the Big Brother from George Orwell's 1984 than a constitutional republic that seeks to safeguard the liberty of it's citzens? Would you want the government to be able to suspend your habeus corpus and be able to torture you by fear of death and infliction of psychological torment?

By many sources, the "terrorist" watch list has grown to well over 1 million people (USA Today, The New American, Voice of America, & ACLU) and many of them are probably folks like you (well, not the feds reading this probably) and I. This should concern you greatly.

If things don't change, this War on Terror (and the fear that it inspires) will be the stepping stone to unravel all of our Bill of Rights.

Be very afraid, and ask yourself: If you lived in 1950's U.S.S.R. (or 1930's Germany) would you want your government to have this power over you? Why should it be different because you live in a 21st Century United States?

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