Thursday, December 08, 2005

Sullivan vs. Krauthammer

In recent weeks, many people have debated the legality and morality of United States Government agents torturing enemy combatants in the hopes of gaining critical information. While I certainly believe that torture is morally wrong, the real existence of people in the world who endeavor to destroy the United States along with my moral system makes the limits on interrogation techniques that we place on our government an important question. Last week Charles Krauthammer published an essay in the Weekly Standard arguing that the government agents should have the flexibility to employ torture in a couple of extreme conditions. Today Andrew Sullivan published a response in the New Republic in which he insists on an absolute ban on torture by the government. These two essays present the best cases that I have read on both sides of this issue.

My sense is that Krauthammer gets the better of this argument. Sullivan's strongest point is that totalitarian instruments have no place in a war for freedom. However, I think that this is overwhelmed by the real need for the government to have complete flexibility to defend its citizens from foreign enemies with out facing presidential impeachment.

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