Its interesting to me to observe the similarity in moral justification for torturing enemy combatants and the execution of accused murderers.
“If we can save one american life its worth it” is pretty much the equivalent argument for both. I think this is more an emotional reaction we all have driven by our feelings of helplessness around horrible incidents.
We want revenge. We’re angry. But we need a more rational justification. So mike talks about how capital punishment is a deterent even though arguments have been made that criminals might be more likely to kill with laws like three strikes.
We say ‘its worth it to save americans’ when there’s little to no evidence that torture has or ever will save anyone.
When we take vengence on others we are only sacrificing our own morals. And I don’t get how the conservative, christian right led republicans can preach christian values like mercy and forgiveness and then demand blood as restitution.
Mike states that tookie’s books have sold only a couple hundred copies. I’m not sure where he is getting his facts. I know that tookie has worked tirelessly to reach out and connect with hundreds of gang kids from his jail cell for 27 yrs.
Mike also talks about using threat of execution to get valuable info from felons. And in fact san quentin has believed for decades that he still holds valuable information. This seems about as idiotic as the belief that some taliban fighter from the mountains of pakistan can identify a hidden cell in the us.
The unfortunate reality is that our country is being dragged into a horrible dangerous place by a bunch of corrupt leaders backed by a lot of ignorant people.
We are only creating more enemies where few existed, turning moderates into extremists, allies into critics. And this all in the name of ‘saving american lives’.
I don’t blame our leaders for suporting the iraqi invasion (though bush/cheney likely did mislead the people). I mainly blame them for their dogmatic refusal to admit they were wrong, no WMD found. Why can’t we have a real dialog that says we fucked up and how are we going to fix it? Why can’t we ask our allies for help fixing it?
Free countries are built on free thinking. Fascist regines live on blind support. Sent wirelessly via BlackBerry from T-Mobile.