On that torture note

Tiberius on this very blog, yesterday:
I have said it before that I fully support the torture of terrorists and I am glad to see the leftist scum get so upset by other people saying it.
Supporting torture is a highly tricky issue. By allowing torture of terror suspects, you're eliminating one more safeguard for the protection of the citizens of a country. Let's bring in a hypothetical situation, based fairly heavily in reality:

We all know Bob Brown isn't a big defender of free speech for people he disagrees with. He didn't want the President of the United States to be able to speak to Australia's parliament. Now let's say that the current government allows the torture of terror suspects, and later on down the track, a party similar to the watermelon Greens, wins the election. Terrorism becomes defined as any attack on the Government designed to cause political instability or incite violence, which is an attack on free speech and civil rights, but the Greens haven't been big defenders of the civil rights and legal procedures they don't agree with.

Granted, these are two unlikely scenarios, but the mere fact that they could happen (socialist parties do win power, sadly) is reason enough for as many safeguards as possible to be kept in place. Back to the hypothetical: If the Greens were to crush public dissent (in a way similar to Joh Bjelke-Petersen, or many of the parties from which the Greens' philosophy comes from), all it would take is one minor rewording of the policy that a previous government passed regarding torture of terror suspects, and all of a sudden you have people being legally tortured because they planned a street rally designed to incite opposition to Comrade Brown.

Once again, I must stress this is a hypothetical situation, and not likely. But is this really a risk that we should be taking? Western civilisation is the great institution it is because it upholds the rights of the individual, and the right to be free from torture is quite important. It was not that long ago in the grand scheme of things that we decried the way Saddam tortured his political opponents. We were outraged at suppression of political dissent in Afghanistan. We saw the evils of communism resulting in mass murder, genocide, obliterated towns and more. And now some of us on the conservative, pro-democracy side are advocating that in some situations we should use a policy that really is nothing more than a stripped back version of what the communists used to attack those they disagreed with. The same communists who share a hell of a lot in common with the people that some conservatives want to torture.

If we lower ourselves to this level, what makes us any better than them? We lose the moral highground, while making it easier for those who would get the biggest mileage out of laws allowing torture (the totalitarian extremists and the radical left) to enact these laws when/if they assume power. For Western society, that's a lose-lose situation, and almost certainly bigger losses than the information we would get out torturing people who could quite possibly be innocent. Not to mention the 'slippery slide' into possibly worse situations.

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