Monday, April 27, 2009

Mercy of the Public

Josh Marshall:
As I've argued before, I think the answer to the ticking time bomb rationale for torture is this: that in the extremely unlikely circumstance that government officials ever found themselves in that position of having a ticking time bomb ticking away, they might have to make the decision to break the law. Not fudge it or keep their actions hidden, but take the decision on their own responsibility that it was the best thing to do in the situation -- despite it being wrong as a general matter -- and then bring their decision to attention of the people and law enforcement authorities and throw themselves on the mercy of the public. [...]

In any case, if your patriotism is such that in an extreme situation you'd risk your own liberty to defend the lives of Americans, that's courage. But nothing else really cuts it.

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