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Reply to "It's A Good Bet That . . ."

It is a sad commentary, really, that we can be so cool about inflicting such terror on someone.

It is an illustration, though, of what we need to remember. The editorial is purely pragmatic: "It's ok to torture (or kill?) one clearly guilty person to save teh lives of many innocent people."

That has an attraction to it on its face. Who wouldn't want to save the lives of many innocent people (except terrorists, who have tehir own equation of "the greater good")? And if a member of my family or even I am among the saved, of course I would feel that the equation is a right one.

But is it really? What difference is there between traditional torture and this exquisitely refined psychological "method"? The fact that it doesn't leave marks? Not where we can see them, certainly, but there are marks. Such treatment can't help leaving some. And if KSM is willing to die by suffocation, then the "method" loses its effectiveness, and we are left only with the knowledge that we have terrorized and tortured.

No thanks. He is a repository of knowledged, certainly, and of knowledge that can more easily help us thwart planned terrorist acts. But we still have the best intelligence system in the world--not perfect but very good--and with the noninvasive methods that we can use, and the security and intelligence agencies doing their jobs, we can get what we need from him to add to what we can gather without him without being inhuman.

Just because others are inhumanly cruel doesn't mean that we must or even may sink to their animal level.
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