Thursday, October 19, 2006
NOW I’m Scared.
Here’s why: The folks at the BBC (yes, I’ve been having an ongoing love affair with them for years now) have outdone themselves this time. They’ve done a new survey, in which they asked some 27,000 people across 25 countries around the world their ideas on torture. And when all of the responses are gathered together and averaged out, nearly a third of people (not counting the large number who for some reason couldn’t decide) readily admitted that they thought “some degree of torture” ought to be allowed.
Let that sink in for a moment: one third of people across 25 countries around the world thought that torture – torture – is okay sometimes.
People need to learn this: it is never okay. Never. Under any circumstances. Ever. I don’t care what information the other person might be thought to have, but no matter what it is, it’s not worth it. Are we next going to allow people to torture the 17-year old whom we suspect of plotting to bring a gun to school and shoot 30 of his classmates in the same way that many seem ready to allow the torture of another 17-year old whom we suspect of plotting to blow himself up and kill 30 people on a bus? “Some degree” or not, torture is not now and never will be okay. Period. It makes me incredibly sad and not a little frightened that we’ve come to a point at which we feel the need to ask questions like this. How in the world can we even justify a debate on this issue?!?