This morning, on the way to the adoration chapel and then to work, I heard two “conservative” talk radio hosts, one national and one local, one supposedly a faithful Catholic and one who makes no such claim, apparently defending U.S. interrogations of terrorist suspects that we now know included mock executions (using guns and, yes, power drills) and threatening to kill the children and rape the mothers of those suspects.
The defense boiled down to accepting former Vice President Dick Cheney’s “it works” argument, presented here at the Weekly Standard:
The documents released Monday clearly demonstrate that the individuals subjected to Enhanced Interrogation Techniques provided the bulk of intelligence we gained about al Qaeda. This intelligence saved lives and prevented terrorist attacks. These detainees also, according to the documents, played a role in nearly every capture of al Qaeda members and associates since 2002. The activities of the CIA in carrying out the policies of the Bush Administration were directly responsible for defeating all efforts by al Qaeda to launch further mass casualty attacks against the United States. The people involved deserve our gratitude. They do not deserve to be the targets of political investigations or prosecutions. President Obama’s decision to allow the Justice Department to investigate and possibly prosecute CIA personnel, and his decision to remove authority for interrogation from the CIA to the White House, serves as a reminder, if any were needed, of why so many Americans have doubts about this Administration’s ability to be responsible for our nation’s security.
This makes me sick to my stomach. This is pure consequentialism, a good-ends-justify-all-means mentality. It is pure poison. Every Christian conservative who was drawn in to supporting or downplaying waterboarding and cold cells and all the rest under the guise of some mysterious doubt that they constituted torture – or those drawn into doubting that torture itself is morally repugnant – ought to take a long, hard look at the links above. If the darkness, moral anarchy and death that lie down that road are not evident now, what could possibly make them so?