Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The story goes something like this:

Churchill: Madam, would you sleep with me for five million pounds?
Socialite: My goodness, Mr. Churchill! Well, I suppose – we would have to discuss terms, naturally.
Churchill: Would you sleep with me for five pounds?
Socialite: Mr. Churchill, what kind of woman do you think I am?!
Churchill: Madam, we’ve already established that. Now we are haggling about the price.

Now let's shift the focus of that story from sex to torture...

Would it be permissible to waterboard an admitted terrorist if doing so saved the lives of 5 million innocent people?

I would say yes, and I believe that approximately 99.9999% of Americans would agree.

Well then, how about saving the lives of just 1 person?

I would still say yes... and I believe most Americans would likewise still agree... and even if their families and friends were not among those to be saved.

As with Churchill's story, once you say it is okay to torture someone in order to save lives, we've established what you are.... namely, someone who cares far more about saving the lives of innocent people than the psychological well-being of terrorists.

I don't care - as Jacoby seems to care - that waterboarding can leave its victims with psychological trauma that can last for years.

What I care about is keeping my friends and family and neighbors and other Americans safe from those who would do them harm. If I were President, the last thing I would want to do is to have to meet with the relatives of the victims of a terrorist attack knowing they died because I didn't do everything that could be done to keep that from happening.

Back in 1988, Dukasis lost the Presidential election in no small part because he wouldn't come out and say he'd want to execute the criminal who (in the hypothetical question) raped and murdered his wife.

I expect our Presidents to be people who would do anything to save their family from harm, I don't want a President who would let his family die so he could take the supposed high ground of being 'anti-torture'.

As bad a reputation Obama has among the right, I believe that, if push came to shove, he wouldn't stand by and let his wife and kids die from a terrorist attack that he could have prevented by allowing a bit of what is euphemistically referred to as 'enhanced interrogation'.

And if our President is someone who would allow torture to save the lives of his family, then as Churchill would have noted, we know what kind of guy he is. All I ask is that his price goes low enough to include the families of people who didn't vote for him.