"The question, then, for a liberal democracy is not whether torture in certain cases is effective, but whether its value is worth the negative publicity and demoralizing effect on a consensual society that believes its cause and methods must enjoy a moral high ground far above the enemy's".
Liberals and some "others" are attempting to assert that "torture" equals "bullying". As tho, American troops are in Iraq as private citizens, mindlessly "bullying" captured war criminals.
This attempt to slur the current reality carries certain subliminals in its making: 1.) The War is Unjustified 2.) Therefore, American interrogators are Bullies.
This is apples and oranges comparison.
The United States was ATTACKED by criminals on 9-11. Said criminals have continue to communicate they will attack again, anywhere in the world.
The US has the most humane of the "torture" techniques used in War Time.
What's going on here in re torturing war criminals, and the left's adoration of treating criminals "with dignity" is abhorent to me. And highly hypocritical of them to do so.
VDH closes his column with this:
But all that is precisely the risk we must take in supporting the McCain amendment — because it is a public reaffirmation of our country's ideals. The United States can win this global war without employing torture. That we will not resort to what comes so naturally to Islamic terrorists also defines the nobility of our cause, reminding us that we need not and will not become anything like our enemies.
How do I read this? Feed the "public image" thing and while growing even smarter to get at the information we need from these criminals.
Perhaps this is not what VDH means. But I've learned a thing over many years' time: You do not give honor to those who have no intention of reciprocation. Stay as high ground as possible, but get that information.
Put another way: If I got my hands on the criminal who kidnapped or threatened to harm someone I care about? I'd be VERY precise in my methods to getting at that data. Very precise.