Monday, June 8, 2009

Tick, tock, tick, tock.

Excellent point made today by John Cole at his Balloon Juice blog with respect to using "enhanced interrogation techniques" on Scott Roeder, the man who shot and killed abortion doctor George Tiller last week. According to the Washington Post:

"Scott Roeder called The Associated Press from the Sedgwick County jail, where he's being held on charges of first-degree murder and aggravated assault in the shooting of Dr. George Tiller one week ago.

"I know there are many other similar events planned around the country as long as abortion remains legal," Roeder said. When asked by the AP what he meant and if he was referring to another shooting, he refused to elaborate further."

Hmm. So what we have here is a domestic terrorist who claims to have knowledge of impending acts of violence by his cohorts, but he's refusing to cooperate with authorities. Odds are good he's just a fringe lunatic out to create an atmosphere of increased fear and paranoia for abortion doctors (as terrorists tend to do), but his threats can't be ignored, can they? Abortion doctors have been successfully targeted many times before...either through an organized effort or through solitary assassins. This is as close as we can get to the "ticking time bomb" scenario that supporters of torture are so quick to raise as the most significant justification for torture. I'd sure like to hear the absurd excuses they'd use to say this doesn't qualify. What if Roeder was an Arab American who was an extremist on the pro-choice side? What if he had murdered a pro-life advocate and claimed other attacks were planned?

But as Cole says:

"So when do we get to start torturing this guy? And of course, the answer should be “NEVER.” Torture is wrong. Torture is immoral. Torture is evil. Torture is illegal. Torture does more violence to our values than it does to the individual being tortured. Torture is unreliable. Torture is counter-productive- everything someone says after being tortured should be treated as suspect. Just do your job and investigate. No need to become as bad as the criminal."

I'll go from negative respect to zero respect if torture apologists will at least admit that Roeder's case qualifies for their so-called enhanced interrogation techniques.


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