Monday, November 12, 2007

Torturous logic

Been away for a few days curling. Didn't even check e-mail. I just saw this from ALAN DERSHOWITZ, who writes in the Wall Street Journal an article called "Democrats and Waterboarding" with a subhead: The party will lose the presidential race if it defines itself as soft on terror.

Right off the bat, something interesting. Since we know that Democrats are the party on record against waterboarding, that means that being 'soft on terror' appears to mean not torturing.

Also, in Dershowitz's world, Republicans appear to be okay with torture, specifically waterboarding. Now, that might seem like a logical fallacy for me to make that leap. Just because he says that being against torture means being soft on terror, and we all know that Republicans aren't soft on terror, so they must be for torture.

But then, in the article, he makes two incredible statements:

Copied verbatim:
"Although I am personally opposed to the use of torture, I have no doubt that any president--indeed any leader of a democratic nation--would in fact authorize some forms of torture against a captured terrorist if he believed that this was the only way of securing information necessary to prevent an imminent mass casualty attack. The only dispute is whether he would do so openly with accountability or secretly with deniability. The former seems more consistent with democratic theory, the latter with typical political hypocrisy."
Emphasis mine. So, he's advocating that Democrats should be for something that he's personally against. Perhaps it's this bizarre position that gets him tied up in rhetorical knots because the very next paragraph in the piece goes like this:
"There are some who claim that torture is a nonissue because it never works--it only produces false information. This is simply not true, as evidenced by the many decent members of the French Resistance who, under Nazi torture, disclosed the locations of their closest friends and relatives."
To recap his argument: I, Alan Dershowitz am advocating that Democrats follow the policy of the Nazi government which proved that torture (which I am against) works.

The shorter version: "Hey Democrats, why are you against something that was good enough for Hitler?"

Holy crap, that's gotta be the weirdest argument in the history of arguments.

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