59 minutes ago
Friday, November 30, 2007
Romney's Stance on Torture Wanting
Mitt Romney's comments to John McCain last night during the CNN/YouTube Republican Debates were illuminating. As the author shrewdly observes, here is yet another politician who decries violence in the media (particularly electronic games) as desensitizing and immoral, and yet declines to make a strong statement against real violence and torture, by a typical political tool of omission (transcript from GamePolitics).
When asked by John McCain, who was himself a victim of torture during the Vietnam War, his opinion on the torture practice of waterboarding:
"Romney: Senator McCain, I appreciate your strong response, and you have the credentials upon which to make that response. I did not say and I do not say that I’m in favor of torture. I am not. I’m not going to specify the specific means of what is and what is not torture so that the people that we capture will know what things we’re able to do and what things we’re not able to do." [emphasis added]
Though Romney did condemn torture in his comments (in a general way), he was very, very vague on which practices he considers torture.
The belief that we have the right to conduct torture upon our prisoners is a narrow-minded, selfish belief. When debating this topic I frequently hear: "You're saying that it's not worth torturing prisoners in order to save many lives!?" This angry, knee-jerk reaction is not based on logic but emotion and blinded nationalism.'
When a foreign operative captures a U.S. soldier with possible knowledge on an upcoming attack on their forces, do they have the right to conduct so-called intensive interrogation techniques in order to save the lives of their men? (Don't ask this question to people who feel strongly in favor of torture. You'll get their spittle all over the front of your shirt and possibly get punched.) Torture is a form of pre-emptive punishment. It is a gigantic blow to due process. Worse still, it sets a dangerous trend for captors of our citizens (presuming that the reader lives in the U.S.).
I don't believe that these political prisoners should be represented in the public legal system, due to the sensitive nature of the charges against them, but torture is unconscionable. If you'd like to find an activity to erode our national moral authority and desensitize us to violence, there's your issue, Mr. Romney - the video game issue circulates well in fundamental Christian circles but is hardly honest politics.