Communicator (communicator) wrote,

After much agonising

Bruce Anderson, former political editor of The Spectator, argues in the Independent that torture is a regrettable necessity.
Torturers set out to break their victim: to take a human being and reduce him to a whimpering wreck.

There's something off in the way he expresses this. It would be a bit cheesy, even if he was then going on to denounce torture.
Before 9/11, in front of some serious lawyers, I once argued that if there were a ticking bomb, the Government would not only have a right to use torture. It would have a duty to use torture. Up sprang Sydney Kentridge, one of the great liberals of our age... (with) a devilish intellectual challenge. "Let's take your hypothesis a bit further. We have captured a terrorist, but he is a hardened character. We cannot be certain that he will crack in time. We have also captured his wife and children".

After much agonising, I have come to the conclusion that there is only one answer to Sydney's question. Torture the wife and children...

The Master of the Rolls, Lord Neuburger... wrapped himself in a cloak of self-righteousness, traduced an entire security service, showed no understanding of the courage which its officers routinely display: no understanding, indeed, of anything beyond courtroom niceties.There is a threat not only to individual lives, which is of minor importance, but to our way of life and our civilisation.

Lots of thoughts come to mind. I decided to quote him at length instead of commenting as I think his own words damn him more fully than anything I could add.

The comments to Independent articles are managed by livejournal, for this article you can read them here. I think the general feeling is against him: 'This is a truly repugnant piece of writing', 'I can't believe I read this in the Independent'.
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