Apparently, the new right-wing talking point down south is that torture is defensible because, well, it works:
After refusing to release even unclassified materials as Vice President, former Vice President Dick Cheney is now calling for the release of all interrogation reports to show that torture works.
Ignore for the moment that all of the evidence shows that it doesn't work (in the sense that it doesn't reliably produce accurate or useful information). Put that niggling detail aside and let's assume, just for the sake of argument, that it does work. Let's go with that position and see where it takes us.
That argument would seem to suggest that, even if torture is illegal, unconstitutional, a war crime or what have you, it's acceptable because it works. It's acceptable because it produces the result you're after. It's acceptable because you end up in a better place than when you started, with more potentially valuable information. In short, even if it's legally, ethically and morally reprehensible, in the end, you shouldn't object to it since, well, quite simply, the ends justify the means because the end result is an undeniably good thing. Except that, if you buy that argument, ugly things start to happen.
If you accept that logic, then you similarly have to accept that it would be equally defensible to torture a suspect's family to get information. Maybe a suspect is a tough nut to crack. So you drag in his family, and torture his wife and children in front of him. Is that acceptable? Using the above logic, it would have to be, which puts the torture apologist in an increasingly awkward position. So let's push this "logic" one step further.
Personally, I would like to see a "smarter" Canada. And by "smarter," I mean that I think it would be a good thing if Canadians were more educated, more logical, more intellectual. I've always felt that knowledge is a good thing; that the better educated we are as a populace, the better society we're capable of creating. Can anyone seriously deny that? So how can we get a smarter Canada? Simple: Execute all the Blogging Tories. No, wait, hear me out.
I don't think anyone can possibly deny that, as a group, Stephen Taylor's Blogging Tories are the most uneducated, cement-headed collection of racist, intolerant yahoos and painful scientific illiterates this side of the 49th parallel. Seriously, there's no way you can even begin to deny the jaw-dropping idiocy of folks like Dr. Roy, Hunter, the dingbats at The Politic, Raphael Alexander, Paul E. Marek, Neo Conservative ... the list just goes on and on, doesn't it? Which suggests, quite simply, that to improve the intellectual level of this country, all we need to do is take them all out, line them up against the wall, and have them shot.
Sure, that would be ethically and morally repugnant. In fact, I'm pretty sure it would be illegal in some provinces. But (and here's the kicker) if you put aside the horrific human rights violations involved, I think we can all agree that, in the end, we'd end up with a smarter country. Really, I think that would be a foregone conclusion. The means might be a bit tacky and classless but the end result would be a good thing, nationally speaking.
So why don't we do that? Because it would be wrong. Simply put, it doesn't matter if the end result is a good thing. That doesn't justify the behaviour. It doesn't matter if the Blogging Tories are embarrassing retards, wretched racists and vile neo-Nazis and white supremacists whose collective execution would make this a better country in an instant. None of that matters.
Killing them outright would be wrong. Wrong, wrong, wrong! The fact that it would be good for Canada is not even remotely relevant. The end does not justify the means. It doesn't justify executing Blogging Tories, and it doesn't justify torture. And anyone who wants to defend torture because it "works" might want to take a minute to really think about what lies at the end of that road.