Archive for November, 2007

Torture and Habeas Corpus

Monday, November 26th, 2007

The advocates of torture, allied with advocates of denial of habeas corpus, say that these violations of normative Western political wisdom will gain them (and, they say, thereby also will gain us, collectively) some advantage.

But they do not tell us that any advantage gained through these supposedly legalized denials of traditional rights: to be brought before justice; and to be assumed innocent – i.e. not to be tortured in order to produce evidence against oneself.

These violations of civilized norms may only occur if a price is paid by civilization itself.

Once that becomes clear, one begins to notice that those who argue otherwise are either ignorant of the development of civilized norms in our cultural’s political institutions; or, if they in fact do have a sense of all that, then it seems to me that such proponents must simply be lying to us about their motivations. They reach too easily for the evil solution.

I view all advocates of torture, and advocates of denying habeas corpus with this in mind.

The actual torturers and deniers of habeas corpus, from command on down, are criminals, I say.

The magnitudes of their crimes are measured against values we have a right to hold sacred.