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January 06, 2005

What's Instapundit Getting At Here?

I do not agree that the Geneva Conventions apply in all cases, of course, nor do I regard them as Holy Writ. They're international agreements arrived at among specific parties, at a specific time, for specific purposes, and whether either the agreements themselves or the principles they contain should govern in other circumstances is hardly beyond the bounds of reasonable discussion, as Andrew [Sullivan] -- who in other circumstances seems less deferential to existing law simply as law -- seems to suggest.

I have no idea what laws Andrew Sullivan might wish to flout. It's a stone-cold mystery to me.

Instapundit's run-down and links are worth reading, even though I disagree with his basic take.

Saying "torture doesn't work" is just a way to avoid a difficult question. Mickey Kaus has made this observation before-- by insisting that torture doesn't work, you are claiming that there is simply no upside to it whatsoever, which makes opposing it easy.

It's an intellectual dodge. Of course torture works. Not always, and not necessarily quickly, but take a look at the films of our brave captured Vietnam pilots being coerced into reading anti-American screeds for North Vietnam's propaganda uses.

These were brave and strong men, some of the most disciplined in the world. And they broke. They didn't want to say those horrible things, but there does come a point at which the human spirit fails.


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posted by Ace at 04:54 PM

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