Torture is bestial

Ex-Marine Joe Carter cites a familiar name in staking out a staunch conservative position against torture:

Yes, waterboarding is torture. And torture should never be legal.

Even more disturbing than the idea that a future attorney general doesn’t know what’s involved in waterboarding is that we live in an age when a familiarity with torture techniques is to be expected of our leaders. How did we get to the point where such a question needs to be asked of an attorney general? Who allowed our country to succumb to such fear and moral cowardice that we parse the the meaning and definition of “torture?”

I blame myself, and implicate my fellow Christians. We have remained silent and treated an issue once considered unthinkable–the acceptability of torture–like a concept worthy of honest debate. But there is no room for debate: torture is immoral and should be clearly and forcefully denounced. We continue to shame ourselves and our Creator by refusing to speak out against such outrages to human dignity.

Strong words, with which I agree entirely. And Joe has support from some of the nation’s finest military minds too:

As has happened with every other nation that has tried to engage in a little bit of torture — only for the toughest cases, only when nothing else works — the abuse spread like wildfire, and every captured prisoner became the key to defusing a potential ticking time bomb. Our soldiers in Iraq confront real “ticking time bomb” situations every day, in the form of improvised explosive devices, and any degree of “flexibility” about torture at the top drops down the chain of command like a stone — the rare exception fast becoming the rule….

Complex situational ethics cannot be applied during the stress of combat. The rules must be firm and absolute; if torture is broached as a possibility, it will become a reality.