Conservative Bloggers Silent On Torture?
Shaun Mullen wonders “Why Are Right-of-Center Bloggers So Silent On Torture?”
He searched high and low and could find no right-of-center bloggers who made any mention at all, for example, of yesterday’s NYT story “China Inspired Interrogations at Guantánamo.” I’d note that Andrew Sullivan wrote roughly 600 posts on the subject yesterday, including this one, which pretty well covered our bases. Some conservatives have disowned him, though, so perhaps he no longer counts.
A quick search of my RSS feed showed plenty of non-Sullivan forays into the subject, although not that article in particular.
Amusingly, John Cole, who’s in Sully’s boat of being a conservative disgusted with the GOP and thus on the outs with much of the Right Blogosphere, calls the gang at Red State “hacks” for not having written about the story despite not having done so himself aside from noting the hackery of the Red Staters for not having written about it.
Otherwise, Mullen’s right: I’m not finding discussion on the conservative blogs about the NYT/China story.
Ace contends Hitch is “whining” and approvingly passes on the observation that, “Torture is any experience so horrible that no-one would consider trying it out simply for the purpose of writing a Vanity Fair article about what it’s like.” Glenn Reynolds and Ann Althouse concur. Stephen Green is mostly amused.
Bruce McQuain responds to yet another torture piece, a column by Chris Satullo in the Philadelphia Inquirer arguing we should cancel the Fourth of July celebrations out of shame at our torture policy. Bruce retorts that Satullo is a “nimrod.”
Anyone who reads this blog knows where I stand on torture. I don’t support its use and find it to be both morally wrong and morally repugnant. But for goodness sake, a little perspective would be nice – we actually have a process which reviews such things and acts to curtail such activities if we feel that to be necessary. That is precisely what we did.
Pat Lang, who I figure gets at least honorary conservative cred on the basis of being a retired colonel and Senior Intelligence Service officer, observes,
Clearly, some sadist or group of sadists with a vivid imagination took advantage of the national trauma of 9/11 to use the old communist enemies’ methods as a model.
Whoever did that inflicted a grave injury and disgrace on the United States. The culprits should be punished as an example to future generations of sadists.
So, why so little attention on the conservative blogs? Two explanations come readily to mind:
- 1. Quite a few on the Right actually support the use of coercive interrogation techniques, considering them a reasonable tool in protecting the country from the Islamofascist hordes and preventing another 9/11. Alternatively, even if they opposed “torture,” they believe waterboarding and other techniques which don’t cause permanent damage are acceptable.
2. They, like most of their counterparts on the Left, mostly highlight stories advantageous to their candidate or party and downplay those which are potentially harmful to the Cause.
3. They’re bored with the story, considering it largely “old news” and variations on a theme.
The third of those explains why I didn’t bother with the story yesterday. I’ve written perhaps dozens of posts over the years condemning torture, both on moral and practical grounds, and don’t frankly see why the fact that the Chicoms used the same techniques makes any difference or adds any legitimate persuasive power to the argument.