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Author: xLife Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Recommended Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 1967429  
Subject: Re: "Kill List" White Paper Date: 2/5/2013 10:48 AM
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"An individual's interest in avoiding erroneous deprivation of his life is 'uniquely compelling.'"

...as one of the most chilling euphemisms for "deliberate killing" that I've read in a long time.

Freakin' lawyers.

It will be interesting to see if groups that loudly decried practices like waterboarding and extraordinary rendition similarly denounce this approach as even more monstrous.

And vice versa.

But I don't think it's "more monstrous" than torture. It's difficult to articulate exactly why. It's a gut feeling. I have no problem with the assassination of Osama bin Laden, but I think it'd have been wrong to torture him.

And consider this: it's acceptable for a policeman to shoot a dangerous suspect, but it's not acceptable for the police to kidnap and torture a suspect. The act of arrest removes the threat and the calculus completely changes. Similar rules apply in combat. (Whether they are always followed is another matter.) You can kill or kick the sh*t out of an enemy soldier, but once he or she is captured and disarmed, you can't.

So I guess what I'm getting at is that "extraordinary rendition" is wrong because it isn't necessary. It's more convenient than arrest. "Enhanced interrogation" is unnecessary and of dubious utility except as a form of punishment. (Combining the two, I'd make the same argument about Guantanamo in general. It explicit purpose is to evade U.S. law concerning prisoners based upon it's unique, extralegal location.)

Torture is about us, about our character and how we behave. It's not about what they deserve, it's about who we are. Killing your enemy is cricket. Torture isn't. Maybe I'm naive or old fashioned.
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