US Torture Policy: Part Of ‘American Exceptionalism’?

One of the architects of the CIA’s post-9/11 torture program was in court this week to testify in the pre-trial proceedings of several Guantanamo detainees. His justification for designing and practicing some of the most inhuman practices on earth should give pause to Americans with a conscience. Do we really reject torture? Tune in to today’s Ron Paul Liberty Report:

Reprinted from The Ron Paul Institute for Peace & Prosperity.

18 thoughts on “US Torture Policy: Part Of ‘American Exceptionalism’?”

  1. We reap what we sow. While it is not completely fair, we often have to pay the moral cost for those who act immorally in our name. Why do they hate us? It should be obvious to anyone who pays attention.

  2. When your this exceptional, you can turn the Devil’s work into a chorus from heaven to bring tears to a ‘Christian’s’ eyes

      1. Yea, I wish the US were the good guys in at least one conflict, if having to always get involved. The US always supports the worst elements: Jihadis, Nazis, Randian European South Americans (eg. Bolivia and Brazil), etc. Why not support the good guys?

          1. I prefer some sides over others. I wouldn’t say they’re purely “good,” but better.

            I especially don’t like Ukrainian Nazis because, as with Zionism, they make nationalism look bad. Many are considering nationalism once again, in Europe and elsewhere like India; but then specific examples of nationalism like that in Ukraine are too disruptive and violent. It’s frustrating.

            It’s all well and good to say the US shouldn’t meddle, but the US nearly always meddles against my interests when it does meddle.

            Another example, South America. I fear helping the white “capitalists” there will create blowback. And it’s tough to get excited about bulldozing the rain forest in Brazil, even if that would happen no matter what. They’re just “progress” nuts of a different sort. Preserving a rain forest is obviously conservative.

          2. “I especially don’t like Ukrainian Nazis because, as with Zionism, they make nationalism look bad.”

            Yes, when people do a bad thing, it makes that bad thing look bad.

            And when good people do that same bad thing, it makes those good people look bad. Which they are in the process of becoming. Good people doing bad things turns those good people into bad people over time.

          3. I disagree that nationalism is inherently bad. What’s the alternative? There isn’t a better alternative. GK Chesterton’s Patriotic Idea might be foolishly naive, but it’s the nationalist ideal: Opposition to “beptarchy”, opposition to ruling over others, while cherishing what a people has, relinquishing past claims and ambitions.

          4. Groups triumph over individuals. So, the nation that retains its ties the longest, wins. And such a nation can also be a tribal-religion.

          5. “What’s the alternative?”

            Nationalism and Globalism are just two sides of the same collectivist coin. The better alternative to either, I believe, is individual sovereignty.

        1. “Why not support the good guys?”

          The problem is, Luch, that all State factions are at least partially evil, and, therefore, to keep our hands clean, we must adopt a policy of “hands off.”

          Once you give the State the power to intervene, you can’t really complain when that power is used in a manner you don’t approve of.

  3. If legitimate threats existed, maybe torture could be justified. There just aren’t any threats.

    Even terrorism seems to result from intentional US policy of radicalizing and angering Sunni Muslims who are invited to the US to then spontaneously combust in the US. If either keeping them out of the US or not radicalizing and angering them in the first place, then there’d be no threat.

    It’s the Saudis etc. who radicalize them, with US approval.

    1. Except that the CIAs own studies, multiple over the decades, has shown torture doesn’t yield actionable Intel. If threats exist, torture only inhibits information gathering. The only purpose is to slake the bloodlust of those who feel threatened, and provide policy makers cover for inability to ensure 100% safety for a population that thinks that’s the governments job.

      1. I just suspect torture works, but maybe it doesn’t.

        This sort of topic doesn’t interest me, because I don’t believe the US has any threats. I’ve never felt threatened by any foreign power. So, it’s purely hypothetical.

        1. “I just suspect torture works, but maybe it doesn’t.”

          Even if there were a microscopic chance it could “work” in a given situation, it isn’t worth the moral price, in my opinion, of losing your humanity and the more than likely scenario of torturing an innocent person.

          It is also quite illegal and unconstitutional, as listed in the Constitution are both a presumption of innocence (Amendment V and Amendment XIV), and an explicit ban on cruel and unusual punishments (Amendment VIII). These protections apply to ALL PERSONS, including aliens, as the Bill of Rights does not include the word “citizen” anywhere, while there are numerous occurrences of the words “people” and “person.”

          While Murray Rothbard and some anarcho-capitalists embraced the theory that perhaps torture could be legally justified after the fact, if, for instance, it resulted in saving the lives of millions of people, I wouldn’t agree to this principle being explicitly coded into law, as such a thing is just too dangerous. I do think, however, if there were ever any kind of situation of this sort, a person could be acquitted of torture by a fully informed jury using jury nullification. The standard for acquittal would be so high and improbable in such a case, however, that I could never see it successfully used in any likely scenarios, and, of course, certainly not for Gina Haspel or Mike Pompeo, who oversaw the torture of certifiably innocent people, and not for the purpose of saving anyone’s life.

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