And I’m off to SF for a couple of days

My dad’s birthday is today and I’m heading up to celebrate with the family. Occasional blog posting as it happens. Hope your weekend’s a good one!

A little torture update

On the one hand:

CIA agents would be banned from simulating drowning, a technique known as waterboarding, when questioning suspected terrorists under legislation agreed to by House and Senate negotiators, lawmakers said.

The legislation would require all spy agencies to follow the Army Field Manual’s interrogation standards, which ban waterboarding and other harsh techniques, members of the Senate Intelligence Committee said in separate statements yesterday.

On the other, courtesy one K. Lopez at NRO:

Criminalizing Interrogation [Kathryn Jean Lopez]

This sounds irresponsible.

And…that’s it.

It’s interesting how little some people have to say sometimes, and how they try to avoid what they’re actually talking about, or use other words.

[UPDATE: And I almost forgot about that little 'sorry we erased the tapes' story. As Rick Moran at Right Wing Nut House -- no friend of the left, to put it mildly -- says:

We can argue – and I have in the past on this site – that the Geneva Convention is ridiculously out of date, moldy in its thinking and laughably naive about men at war and the exigencies of the times. And the fact that we and other western countries are the only ones who even make an attempt to conduct ourselves by its rules is patently unfair and revealing of a sickening double standard abroad in the world.

But until and unless it is amended, those officials who authorized the interrogations and who carried them out could be in violation of the law and subject to prosecution. Destroying the tapes therefore is destroying potential evidence in a criminal trial.

I don’t write much about the torture issue anymore because it sickens me to have my friends on the right trying to excuse it and it nauseates me when the left moralizes about it. It is wrong and will come back to haunt us. Not because, as some argue, that it puts our own soldiers in danger. That argument flies in the face of history. We have never fought a war where the enemy we were fighting followed the Geneva Convention. In fact, most of the enemies we have fought have been flagrant violators of human decency in their treatment of prisoners much less paying any attention to the strictures in the GC.

We should not torture because of who we are not because of what the Geneva Convention says, or the left says, or the hypocritical third world moralists say. It is wrong for Americans to do it. And yes, waterboarding is torture. Putting a prisoner in stress positions is torture. Sleep deprivation is torture.

Forget the hysterics from our political opponents and examine the issue not as a partisan but as question of simple human decency. If we Americans have lost that – if we’ve forgotten that we hold ourselves to a higher standard than the brutes we are fighting and their allies in the hypocritical third world, then we will have lost a very important component of what makes us an exceptional nation.

There's plenty Mr. Moran and I disagree about -- even some of the language in this excerpt would never be mine to say -- but not on the key point, at all.]

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