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Free Liberal: Coordinating towards higher values

Free Liberal

Coordinating towards higher values

Dream or Nightmare?

by Paul Jacob

I don’t like torture. Never have; never will.

Sure, I know some expert interrogators argue that they can save lives by extracting information through torture. But other such experts — and in greater number — contend that the information gleaned by thumb screws is notoriously unreliable.

Still, torture might on some occasions yield information that could save someone’s life. And, yet, I’m still against it. Why?

Well, I support human rights. Our liberties limit government. Our neighbors’ liberties limit what we may do even when we are filled with fear.

As a country, we must not sink to the level of those nations that practice torture. It really does matter how America is seen in the world. Our enemies will be fewer if we folks see us as a shining beacon of freedom, offering the American Dream, rather than just another rogue state threatening terror. Which is what torture is.We will prevail against terrorism, I’m convinced — unless we lose our good sense and allow expediency to corrupt us.

If today we allow our government to torture foreign terrorist suspects, it won’t stop there. At some point, Americans will be tortured by their own government. Certainly, the usual scenario of needing information to prevent a terrorist attack could involve a U.S. citizen.

If it is okay to torture a foreign terrorist, why not an American terrorist? Why not a murderous gang member? Why not — well, you see where this is going.

Paul Jacob's "Common Sense" is published by the Sam Adams Alliance. Their website can be visited at

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