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It's a fine line between living for the moment and being a sociopath.

Patricia B McConnell: For The Love Of A Dog.

Pema Chodron: The Places That Scare You

Daniel Wallace: Mr Sebastian & the Negro Magician

All paths lead to the same goal: to convey to others what we are. --Pablo Neruda

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Is there a right approach to "rough treatment"?

In his article "The Right Approach to Rough Treatment", from the National Journal, Jonathan Rauch writes in favor of using torture in some circumstances.

His piece is so well reasoned and balanced in its articulation of the issue, I thought I'd link to it, here, to provide a counterpoint to my strident anti-torture stance.

He doesn't come down in favor of the unlimited executive power ensconced in the Military Commissions Act; he makes a case for torture in extreme cases, but with complete transparency and accountability to Congress and to the American public.

Coercive interrogation is a form of deliberate abuse that treats human beings not as ends in themselves but as means to an end. For a democracy founded on the promise of equal and unalienable human rights, there is no graver compromise. If the country needs to make this compromise—as I and, apparently, most Americans think it does—it needs to look its behavior squarely in the eye.

In the end, I don't agree with his conclusion, but I wish there were more reasoned voices like his in the debate.

Unfortunately, the first important round of the "debate", such as it was, is now over. Bush Jr signed the act into law this week.


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