Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Rick Santorum's Evil Fantasies

Rick Santorum's presidential campaign stumbles along from one low point to another, but none has matched his nonsensical statements on how we caught Osama bin Laden. Most of the commentary has focused on his statement that former POW John McCain "doesn’t understand how enhanced interrogation works." Since John McCain is probably the only member of the US Congress who understands how torture works, let's quote him on the subject:

Once my condition had stabilized, my interrogators resumed their work. Demands for military information were accompanied by threats to terminate my medical treatment if I did not cooperate. Eventually, I gave them my ship’s name and squadron number, and confirmed that my target had been the power plant. Pressed for more useful information, I gave the names of the Green Bay Packers offensive line, and said they were members of my squadron. When asked to identify future targets, I simply recited the names of a number of North Vietnamese cities that had already been bombed.

I was occasionally beaten when I declined to give any more information. . . .

Over a four day period McCain was beaten "every three or four hours," and yet he still, like Khalid Sheik Mohammed, continued to offer false or useless information.

Rick Santorum, however, clings to the wrong in every sense notion of "breaking" the interrogation subject that I already wrote about:
I mean, you break somebody, and after they’re broken, they become cooperative.
No, you don't, and they don't. "Breaking" is a fantasy of power, not an interrogation technique. Santorum is only expressing a primitive longing to crush the will of our enemies and render them tools in our hands.

Santorum is a conservative Catholic, and yet on the subject of torture he continues to make statement after statement completely at odds with his Church. Modern Catholic teaching on this subject is clear: "torture is never permissible, even for the gravest reasons." Whatever else you may think of the current Pope, he is at least clear on this one: "The prohibition against torture cannot be contravened under any circumstances." Nor is the church going to accept any of this "enhanced interrogation" nonsense, since their prohibition on torture covers anything that would "undermine or debase the dignity of the prisoner."

I wonder if any bishop will move to deny Santorum communion?

No comments: