Alex Massie

New GOP Argument: Torturing People is Sign of Stength

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Is this the oddest argument in favour of torture yet? Karl Rove says that failing to torture prisoners only encourages al-Qaeda.

Taking, for example, the memoranda about the enhanced interrogation techniques and making them public has been a value to our enemy. It has served, frankly, I think, as a recruiting tool. They can now take these memoranda and go to prospective, you know, recruits and say, This is the worst that the enemy, the United States, would ever do to you, and they’ve even forsworn these things. We can help you, prepare you to deal with these things, but even the enemy is so weak they’re not going to use these techniques on you. And it’s given them a tool to make it more attractive to recruit people, and you know, this kind of thing is harmful to us over the long haul.

Right! Who knew that following the Geneva Conventions and, for that matter, the laws of the United States of America would encourage al-Qaeda? There's little need to spend too much time wondering at the absurdity of this and nor, alas, is there any point in pretending to be surprised by the depths to which too many so-called conservatives and patriots will stoop to justify their actions.

But, still, does Rove really think, to pluck one example from many, that when the Vietcong tortured American prisoners it was a) showing strength and b) weakening American resolve? Of course not. There were many reasons for the Vietnam debacle, but being scared off by torturers in Hanoi was not one of them.

Karl Rove was the architect of the Permanent Republican Majority.

[Via Kevin Drum]

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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