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It's Still Torture

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2007 10:54 PM

Indulging in some spin-control after his 'waterboarding is just like swimming' comment, Sen. Kit Bond (R-Missouri) clarified that he meant there were different ways of doing it, just as there are different strokes for swimming.

Exactly why the good senator believes an acceptable variant exists isn't clear, though he maintains we need to reserve the right to use such techniques in the event of a national emergency (which would undoubtedly be the 'ticking time bomb' scenario).

Let's go over this again, folks. The idea that we could capture one or more terrorists just short of their executing a dastardly plot, and that we can trot out the thumbscrews and other implements of our new foreign policy to make them tell all is nothing but hokum, the plot from an episode of '24'.

It continues the foolishness of building our security on catching someone, or intercepting a phone call, instead of building procedures and response plans that are effective even when we lack someone to torture, or miss a phone call.

But let's say we do capture a terrorist who has such knowledge. If he stonewalls long enough or provides misleading information and whatever plot he is a part of comes off, what will our options be? Torture someone harder and faster the next time?

We are not making ourselves safer by embracing torture as a valid option.

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