Moreover, we faced enemies who were not only truly bestial but really, genuinely, powerful, yet we did not adopt a policy of torture to gather information, and we prosecuted those who did. The evidence we now have, that the methods used, contrived from Communist Chinese methods for from American POWs, proved largely fruitless in gaining usable intelligence, only further confirms on a utilitarian level what already should have been obvious on a moral one.Many point to different things that they believe are indicative America’s decline as a great power, I would suggest adopting the “best practices” of lesser regimes is perhaps the most alarming.It reflects a critical lapse in national self-confidence. JIM DENISON: President, Denison Forum on Truth and Culture Christians believe that all humans are made in God’s image and thus deserve respect.
We know the context: enhanced interrogation was a desperate attempt to prevent another 9-11. Others say that even if immoral in full or in part, the 39 captives subjected to it should be viewed against the larger evil of 3,000 people killed on 9-11.
Mark Tooley, a frequent commentator on matters of religion and politics, writes this: He notes that unvarnished torture is practiced by tyrannical regimes and murderous terrorists, often on innocents who don’t share a particular political or religious view.
He suggests it’s justified as a necessary evil in order to prevent a greater evil.
Yet we have fictionalized our enemies and it has turned us pitifully fearful.
We’ve turned Ben Laden into Magneto and Al Baghdadi into General Zod, so we’ve responded with extreme fictional solutions.
During WWII, we did face a real existential national threat.
Then, potentially tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of lives truly hung in the balance.
Obviously, there is a strong, religiously based counterview – some things cross a line, are morally repugnant, never acceptable. What does your faith say about enhanced interrogation – about torture – as an instrument of American policy in a dangerous world?
As expected, our Texas Faith panel of theologians, clergy, activists and experts take a dim view of torture — but come to their views from various traditions that are guaranteed to provoke thought.
GEOFFREY DENNIS, Rabbi, Congregation Kol Ami in Flower Mound; faculty member, University of North Texas Jewish Studies Program The Torah does not permit torture as a judicial method for finding the truth. Defenders of the practice claim it is justified because of the “exigent circumstances.” Clearly, they were watching too much of the TV show and mistook fiction for documentary.
The USA was never, and is not now, in existential danger from Islamist terrorism.