A friend and I had a conversation about the most influential person over the last two decades not too long ago. The conversation was lead off with some comment shortly after Steve Jobs passing (guess that dates the conversation a bit more than I care to recall) that he was probably the most influential person in the last twenty years to twenty-five years or so. I took objection to that, and suggested that maybe it could be argued to be the case for the last decade or so (going back really to the iPod, including both the iPhone and iPad), but that really there are a LOT of other players to be considered for most influence even there, and especially if you look back as far as quarter century from 2012. What do you all think?
A few days past the event, but did anyone watch it? I did of course, being a past junkie for such kinds of information, having only really trailed off during the last bit of the Bush (W) part of their deliveries. I found it interesting but came away with a general sense of dismay. As all are away I did not support Obama during his campaign, but once the American people had their say I started to buy into the idea of a dramatic change. A year into things and I see very much the status quo in Washington and to sum up in a few words, a president who now realizes dramatic change was to hard and to settle for subtle changes will be acceptable instead.
Prompted by a friend, this comes from a conversation this morning, but it is something I have been meaning to write about for a while. At what point is torturing an individual, possibly to get information, the right thing to do? When is it justifiable? Now mind you, I am not talking about putting pressure on someone and asking, but rather things such as waterboarding, which has been something we as a nation have allowed in the recent past.
So, for those wondering, my take on this is torture of that kind of nature is wrong. Fundamentally it could lead to something like Nazi Germany, where the rights of the individual are denied for the supposed greater good of society. As a libertarian at the core, I can’t see that as a valid argument for the justification, regardless of what may be at peril otherwise. To do so, basically makes us stoop to their level. However, from talking to my friend, she feels, despite being a libertarian herself, quite the opposite.
She feels strongly, (and I admit this is based on a few minutes talking on the phone before work early this morning) that if the suspicion merits, it justifies the need for such measures. Her exact sentiments were something to the effect, “if they are going to be barbaric then we have to met there barbaric tactics with the same.”
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating that we take it easy on the likes of such suspected terrorist. However, I do ponder if McCain were to win the presidency, how he, a former tortured POW himself, would feel in giving the orders condoning torturing someone else regardless of what is at stake. I personally feel we can NOT go down that road as a country, otherwise we are opening the door for every occurrence of an American soldier being captured to be subjected to torture just because of the suspected actions of our country by whatever organization captured said soldier.
Again, I emphasize, do NOT get me wrong. Fundamentally in the end, once a terrorist that is captured, convicted beyond a doubt of such crimes, that we adopt Ron White’s version of Texas justice – an express lane to death row. However, I feel strongly that we do need to give everyone their fair chance in a legitimate court of law prior to such actions taking place without being subjected to torture, pursuing confessions or incrimination of others. After all, we all know, even from medieval times, that under torture not everyone will break and when they do the information given is of questionable truthful standing.