Meditations on Torture: Thomas Paine

This meditation on torture is outsourced to Glenn Greenwald:

My email inbox and comment section are filled with King-like accusatory sentiments that to oppose Torture is to defend Terrorists, because Terrorists deserve to be tortured, and that to oppose their abuse is to be treasonous because it’s terrible to care if Terrorists are abused, etc. etc. ┬áIn his 1795 essay, which he entitled Dissertations on First Principles of Government, Thomas Paine wrote this as his last paragraph:

An avidity to punish is always dangerous to liberty. It leads men to stretch, to misinterpret, and to misapply even the best of laws. He that would make his own liberty secure must guard even his enemy from oppression; for if he violates this duty he establishes a precedent that will reach to himself.

Can that be any clearer?


Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 1:10 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Only Mostly Dead

Well, after a lengthy and unplanned (but, perhaps, predictable) summer hiatus, we are live again, this time from Washington, DC. In theory, at least, I’ll continue to discuss California issues (as I remain registered to vote there), though perhaps not as much.

As an aside, I demand to see Congressman Bill Posey‘s birth certificate. I am uncertain if he meets the Constitutional mandate for service in the House of having attained the age of 25 years. He could, after all, have the Benjamin Button disease. Not that I am saying he isn’t at least 25 years old, of course, just that we should double check.

Published in: on August 27, 2009 at 1:00 pm  Leave a Comment  
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