Sunday, November 05, 2006
New Rule: Now that we've sent "stay the course" down the memory hole, where Big Brother erases things, we've also got to retire: "The world is safer with Saddam Hussein out of power." "Don't you want America to win?" and "Wouldn't you torture someone if they knew where to find an atomic time bomb? "
One: The world isn't safer with Saddam out of power. The only people who are safer are the dead. A number which has, admittedly, increased. Saddam didn't have weapons, that he wouldn't give to Al-Qaeda, whose guts he hated. He might have changed his mind, built weapons he didn't have, and given them to people he hated, but then, so could Dairy Queen.
Two: Don't I want America to win? Are we talking about a war between Sunnis and Shiites, or the Winter Olympics? I thought we wanted democracy to win. 103 Americans died in Iraq last month. Was that winning? Would 1000 be a blow out? Also, didn't we already win? I remember reading about it on an aircraft carrier.
Three: The atomic time bomb that justifies torture. The Constitution specifically says you can't torture people, and we can assume they meant: Even if you really, really want to. Because you wouldn't make a rule against something people didn't want to do. The Eighth Amendment protects terrorists. The same way the First Amendment protects Dixie Chicks. The Framers thought protecting people from the government was more important than anything - even than protecting them from a mythical bomb. You can disagree, but that's not what our Constitution says.
Beyond the fact that it's, like, "illegal," the next problem with the pro-torture argument is that no one - in human history -- has ever been seconds away from defusing an atomic time bomb. You're not thinking of life on earth. You're thinking of "Goldfinger."You can't make a reasoned argument against a law based on the most outlandish possible hypothetical counter-example you just pulled out of your ass. This is called the Fallacy of Accident. A twist on the old dicto simpliciter ad dictum secundum quid. Like I have to tell you.