Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dan Froomkin On Torture

Yesterday, Dan Froomkin of the Washington Post wrote a rebuttal of Charles Krauthammer's column advocating torture. Froomkin's is worth reading in its entirety, as it's a point-by-point rebuttal using realistic arguments. Here's a sample:

Krauthamer: "The second exception to the no-torture rule is the extraction of information from a high-value enemy in possession of high-value information likely to save lives. This case lacks the black-and-white clarity of the ticking time bomb scenario. We know less about the length of the fuse or the nature of the next attack. But we do know the danger is great."

This of course is a blatant post-facto attempt at rationalizing the (inevitable) misdiagnosis of the ticking time bomb scenario. Now all of a sudden the standards are lower. Krauthammer is advocating fishing expeditions -- with a waterboard.

Krauthammer's Asterisks

Reading Krauthammer's columns, when I have the misfortune of doing so, is a frustrating experience. His inability to think through the most basic arguments, as with this example that clearly contradicts the spirit of his opening sentence, is a classic example. He's yet another example of a columnist whose opinions are in the paper merely because those opinions are useful to the people in charge.

What this is doing to the political discourse and the awareness of this country is nothing short of tragic.

1 comment:

Dana Hunter said...

It's not like we really need to take anything Krauthammer writes seriously, anyway. He doesn't even take his own stuff seriously: