PREACHER: I would agree that torture should never be justified. However, there seems to be some differences of opinion as to what is considered torture. I would think that the typical GOP position is that what was done would not be considered torture. Isn't it also very interesting how some of the countries that have complained about how the Bush administration treated the prisoners at Guantanamo bay, when asked to receive some of these prisoners, have refused to accept them into their countries. America may have had its reputation damaged through this, but are these other countries really willing to practice what they preach?
SKEPTIC: You're right. Many people in the Republican party are trying to claim that the "enhanced interrogation techniques" did not amount to torture. But that claim is patently ridiculous on its face. The US executed Japanese soldiers after World War II for waterboarding our POWs, one of the same techniques employed in the Bush/Cheney torture program. So it's torture when someone does it to us, but it's not torture when we do it someone else?? The recently leaked Red Cross report on the treatment of detainees calls it torture and provides in chilling detail exactly what these techniques involved. The GOP is quickly becoming identified as the pro-torture party and the Dems as the anti-torture party. This is not the way for Republicans to find new voters. Unless they make a clean condemnation of torture and break with the Bush people, they're in for a very long time of wandering in the wilderness.
PREACHER: Did someone say that all is allowable in love and war? Anyway, it is a shame that so many of us can't see things as clear-cut as you do.
SKEPTIC: Actually, all may be fair in love, but not so much in war. That's why we have the Geneva Conventions, which prohibit torture. But does your question mean that you don't have a problem with what the Bush administration did? Seems to me that this would be the perfect situation in which to ask, "What would Jesus do?"
PREACHER: It is interesting that when considering moral issues that you like to appeal to Someone that you consider a mythical figure. Let due process go forward for the prosecution of individuals who have committed torture, not only for the Americans who perform it, but for all of those who commit torture, like the terrorists whom you seem to want to excuse.
SKEPTIC: "The terrorists whom you seem to want to excuse?" That's ridiculous and insulting. Show me one time where I ever came close to "excusing the terrorists." The only ones who may "excuse" the terrorists are Bush and his gang, who by illegally using torture may allow terrorists to eventually go free. But I'm glad that you say we should prosecute those involved in torture. I believe we've arrived at a point we can agree on.
A SKEPTIC POSTSCRIPT: I heard a great analogy today: Saying that torture is okay if we get useful information is like a shoplifter saying "Sure stealing is a crime, but look at all the great stuff I got!"