The Difference between Dick Cheney and Lakechia Schonta Stanley

The Difference between Dick Cheney and Lakechia Schonta Stanley November 21, 2014

is that when he authorizes drowning somebody and calls it “dunking” or a “splash of water”, or authorizes beating somebody and calls it “enhanced interrogation”, conservatives hail him as a hero and repeat his Orwellian BS word for word as though it were gospel.  When a black woman tries these “harmless” tactics on her children, she gets 78 years in prison.

“But the children are innocent!  Torturing them is evil!”

Conservatives!  You are getting your euphemistic lies all mixed up.  Remember!  It’s not torture!  It’s  “enhanced interrogation”.  And it’s most certainly not punishment.  It’s merely the most efficient way of getting vital information. Cheney wasn’t doing this to our victims prisoners in order to punish them. He was simply doing it in order to obtain information.  Totally different!  As Fr. Brian Harrison used to point out in his now-repudiated-yet-still-widely-cited-by-torture-lovers apologetic for the use of torture in interrogation, if you compare what the 1984 UN Convention against Torture (of which, for what it’s worth, the Holy See is a signatory) and the 1992 Catechism of the Catholic Church say about torture, you will find they offer the following purposes of intentional infliction of severe pain or suffering as constitutive of torture:

UN Convention Catechism
“obtaining…a confession” “extract confessions”
“punishing…for an act he…has committed” “punish the guilty”
“intimidating or coercing” “frighten opponents”
“any reason based on discrimination” “satisfy hatred”

Fr. Harrison suggests that the drafters of the Catechism, “while generally following the Convention’s proscriptions, deliberately decided not to do so on [the] particular point” of torture for obtaining information. Because it looks to Fr. Harrison “like a deliberate decision on the part of church authorities, rather than a mere oversight or coincidence,” he regards the morality of torture for obtaining information to be an open theological question.

As I note, Fr. Harrison himself has since repudiated this logic.  But torture apologists for Cheney such as Catholic Marc Thiessen have long loved to claim that such things do not “rise to the level of torture” and are undertaken, not out out malice or a desire to harm (indeed such things are not harmful at all, we are told, but are in fact spiritually liberating.  No. Really:

At the end of the video below, Thiessen justifies the use of waterboarding and other harsh methods like dietary manipulation, sleep deprivation and stress positions by asserting that the captured terrorist Abu Zubaydah told interrogators after the fact that his own abuse was a good thing.

After he was was waterboarded he thanked his interrogators for waterboarding him, and he said, “You must do this for all the brothers.”

According to Thiessen’s unnamed sources, Zubaydah thanked his interrogators for forcing him to the edge of what he could physically and mentally endure, thereby freeing him of his religious obligation to not talk. The logic of this argumentation, as they say in the business, shocks my conscience.

Does it also follow that a victim of domestic violence who forgives her attacker’s violence (or argues that it was justified) can also effectively erases the moral culpability? Is Thiessen unfamiliar with the reams of research about the effects of Stockholm syndrome, which drives victims to identify with their attackers and behave in ways contrary to their own rational physical and emotional interests? Should confessions made under threat of physical and emotional harm now suddenly be considered credible, or germane to a discussion of the morality of that harm?

So not only is waterboarding not torture, it is actually equivalent to baptism, as conservative deep thinker Sarah Palin has pointed out, to the wide applause of conservatives dressed like this.

So since it is clearly established in conservative thought that waterboarding and “enhanced interrogation” are not torture and are not even forms of punishment, but are simply “enhanced” tools for the calm and rational obtainment of vital information, why is Ms. Stanley being locked away for 78 years instead of receiving Mr. Cheney’s well-deserved honors, accolades and wealth?  Indeed, when will Caesar wake up to my point that if conservatives are right (as they invariably are), then he should not confine the blessings of enhanced interrogation merely to that proverbial “handful of terrorists” Cheney keeps talking about (no doubt, in his extreme humility, Cheney always ignores the 100+ people (that we know about) whom our non-torture techniques killed).

Nope.  Caesar should make “enhanced interrogation” standard operating procedure against our own citizens.  After all, not every heel is in Iraq and Afghanistan.  And since it’s not torture at all and is not done to punish but to gather information efficiently, why confine it to the supposed suspect in a crime?  Why not use it on his loved ones and children?  Why does the state get a monopoly on this harmless form of information-gathering?  Why *can’t* parents do to their children–for their own good, of course, what moral giant Dick Cheney says is completely harmless?   After all, we used it, with Cheney’s authority, against children abroad and you didn’t say a word, O Enhanced Interrogation Advocate.

So why not hail this woman has a hero and pioneer in the mold of Dick Cheney, a conservative heroine, and even a role model for Faithful Conservative Catholics.  After all, she upholds what has become a core belief of Movement Conservatism–and a core belief of Faithful Conservative Catholics.

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