The Guardian wrestles with the question if "actions abroad pollute British justice, even if in the short-term they may protect British security".
Personally, I have no such quandary. It is one thing to debate the ethics of torture in a general sense, whether captured terrorists can be subject to uncomfortable conditions in order to extract information about their network and associates. It's quite another to understand the use of torture in order to save the lives of innocent people. An attack was imminent, and the information had to be obtained, no matter the method.
But, as Andrew Sullivan reminds Malkin's readers: an attack was not imminent any more than Iraq was an imminent danger to the security of the United States. Still, Malkin's guest is apparently a big fan of torture proponent Alan Dershowitz, who recently proposed his absurd 'continuum of civilianality' to excuse killing innocent people. The man obviously has no sense of what could be considered morality when it comes to issues of inhumanity.
He certainly doesn't have the market cornered on condoning torture though. During the confirmation hearings for now Attorney General Alberto Gonzales back in January, 2005, Gonzales said this:
"Torture and abuse will not be tolerated by this administration," Gonzales assured senators. "I will ensure the Department of Justice aggressively pursues those responsible for such abhorrent actions."
Yet George W Bush and his torture-supporting sidekick, Dick Cheney, interfered with a law passed by congress last year banning torture when Bush issued a signing statement proclaiming the almighty power of the unitary executive to do whatever the hell it chooses. Congress be damned. And I cannot think of one instance in which Gonzales has gone after anyone for using torture. Why would he? He wrote memos endorsing its use when he was Bush's lawyer.
Is it any wonder then that there are Bush cheerleaders like Malkin's fans - who don't have a problem with using torture - actually believe that it produces useful results and that it ought to be considered necessary? Perhaps Malkin and her buddies should spend some time with these people who could definitely teach them a thing or two about what torture does to a person. But that would burst their torture-loving bubble and we couldn't have that, now could we?
Update: Karol Sheinin's response? She thinks it's all one big joke.
I have totally arrived. Andrew Sullivan has labeled me 'deranged' for my earlier post on torture being acceptable when innocent lives are in imminent danger.