Obama, of course, bears his share of the blame for radically expanding the police state that operates on the assumption that citizens are no longer citizens with rights, but suspects subject upon whom Caesar can spy at will. God bless Glenn Greenwald and others working to expose this reckless despot and his accrual of tyrannical powers.
But the way the ball got rolling with this entire mentality was pioneered by Bush conservatives and given a hearty cheer of support by whoring Catholic court prophets who spent *years* arguing for the justice of the use of torture in order to “gather intelligence”.
What torture presupposes is exactly that the Obama surveillance state presupposes: that the victim is guilty and it is simply a matter of prying the truth out of him with either spying (in Obama’s case) or pain or terror (in Bush’s). And Obama has added to this fundamental assumption that our rights come from his royal generosity and not God the notion that he can indefinitely jail and even murder you if his Majesty deems it appropriate. What inevitably happens is that the clairvoyance of Caesar fails and he winds up (as Bush did) torturing and even murdering innocent people. And when he does, he can’t be found guilty of torturing and murdering innocent people. So what does he do? He blames lower level functionaries or, if he can’t get away with that, he lies that the victim had it coming. And since citizens can’t bear to think they live in a country where the state tortures and murders innocents, and they are cowards who are vewwy vewwy afwaid of the bad Terrorists who are coming to kill us all, they behave as court prophets for Caesar and tell themselves and us that Jesus Christ would be thrilled at the brave Just Warriors in DC who are ordering torture to find out if the victims they torture might actually deserve the tortures we are inflicting on them.
That’s the key to the mentality of torture: it is done in order to find out if the person you are torturing deserves to be tortured. And, of course, since *nobody* deserves to be tortured (since torture is intrinsically and gravely immoral), it means that its principal effect is to create a state that *needs* to have a rationale for saying that any person it chooses to treat as guilty and worthy of torture has it coming.That is the moral and psychological groundwork that Catholic torture defenders labored with might and main to create in their gutless, cowardly, and shameful advocacy of torture during the last decade. And now we will all enjoy the fruits of their disgusting and shameful labors to defy the Church in their panicky attempts to save their skins from The Terrorists[TM]. Because now we have a state that regards *all* of us as suspects who are guilty till proven innocent. Congratulations Conservative Catholic Torture Defenders! Meet the *real* danger you worked so hard to bring to birth: an all-seeing surveillance state that considers you a subject who can be spied on, arrested, detained indefinitely, and murdered if the President so wills it. Good job. You are every bit as much to blame as Obama for the birth of this. Only, if you are Catholic and you defended this filth, you bear a *far* greater responsibility because those to whom much is given, much will be required. Obama has never had the benefit of the Faith. You did. And you even boasted that you were a Faithful Conservative Catholic and looked down on those awful CINOs over at the Reporter, etc. Yet, Conservative Catholics supported torture in percentages greater than the average American and in direct defiance of the bloody obvious teaching of the Church.
Maybe now conservative Catholics will stop looking at themselves as the gold standard of real fidelity and stop talking as though God called us to rescue the Church from the Pope. Our own house need cleaning badly. When the history of this time is written one of the stains on the page will be the spectacle of so-called “faithful” Catholic cheering for torture and the presumption of guilt–and the way that contributed to the erection of the American Surveillance State.
Consequentialism is a Faustain Bargain. You sell your soul and get *nothing* in return.