Andrew Sullivan on torture expresses my views exactly. Richard B. Cheney and that egregious horseman of the apocalypse, John Bolton, keep making the macho-security argument – that only brute force and brutal methods will guarantee the West’s security. Not only are such means ineffective and counter-productive, their very immorality vitiates our ends. Just what western values, precisely, could be defended with torture and arbitrary arrest and detention? That we inflict cruel and unusual punishments, in secret, on our perceived enemies? That we treat even innocent people as less than human? That we think laws and due process are dispensible? Just whose western values are these?
The macho-security argument needs to be forcefully countered every time it is made, as Andrew Sullivan does here:
Actually, I can [believe that America is now safer because of the new restrictions on torture]. I think the intelligence we now get will be much more reliable; I believe that torture recruited thousands of Jihadists; I believe holding torturers accountable will help restore our alliances and give moral integrity back to the war on terror; I believe that without torture, we may actually be able to bring terrorists to justice; and that restoring America’s moral standing will make the war of ideas against Jihadism more winnable and therefore the West less vulnerable than it is now.”