Ends and Means


Torture is fine if the information you get from the victim saves lives. This is the view of the US Attorney General Michael Mukasey:

The Detainee Treatment Act...engages the "shocks the conscience" standard, he explained, and you have to "balance the value of doing something against the cost of doing it." What does "cost" mean, Senator Joe Biden wanted to know. Mukasey said that was the wrong word. "I mean the heinousness of doing it, the cruelty of doing it, balanced against the value.... balanced against the information you might get." Information "that couldn't be used to save lives," he explained, would be of less value.
As Digby points out:

It's really hard for me to believe that someone who used to be a federal judge can blow that sophistry in a congressional hearing with a straight face. If you don't know what they know, then you can't know in advance if what they know might save lives, right?