Monday, May 11, 2009

Waterboarding in 1902


The caption is especially fascinating: "Chorus in background} 'Those pious Yankees can't throw stones at us anymore.'"


Jodie said...


The more things change, the more they stay the same, huh?

Aric Clark said...

The difference is that in 1902 it was widely recognized that waterboarding was evil, and we court martialed the soldiers involved. After WWII we executed Japanese soldiers convicted of waterboarding American POW's.

So while waterboarding is a very old idea (practiced by the inquisition), in this country we have had a strong history of condemning it as a criminal practice... until recently.

Jodie said...

In an AP article on Wed May 13, Keith Pavlischek, a senior fellow at the Ethics and Public Policy Center, evangelical scholar and a member of the Presbyterian Church in America, said

"it is not black and white in determining when interrogation tactics cross the line to unjust torture" He said while evidence exists that water-boarding might be out of line, "it's a hard call." Similarly, sleep deprivation can also be used to extremes and cross the line, but not always."

"Unjust torture"...

Evidently there is such a thing as "just" torture in the eyes of our conservative Presbyterian brethren.

In a religion that preaches that God the Just will send people to suffer everlasting torture in hell for all eternity, I guess I am not terribly surprised. It has a logical path. Heck, maybe just torture is a form of godliness in their eyes, I don't know.

I have to say, no topic has caused me to break with the conservative Evangelicals more than their lack of moral spine and even support of torture.

It just crosses a line that I cannot cross.

And yet, Richard Land, of the Southern Baptist Convention of all things, seems to get it. He said
"water-boarding is torture and never justified." He said part of his conclusion is based on his belief that it's "very likely to cause permanent psychological damage." He then said,

"It seems to me once you accept the 'end justifies the means' argument, then you have taken a step onto a very steep and slippery slope to dark and dangerous place,"

A dark and dangerous place...