Inter Symbol Interference

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Friday, September 22, 2006

More kvetching about Slate

You can take this post from C. Pierce, replace references to "Dana Milbank" and "television" to "John Dickerson" and "Slate," and suddenly have a very real idea of my opinion on this article. Basically, a new slew of journos working the political beat are engaging the "torture debate" without troubling themselves with actually recognizing the disgusting ramifications of legally sanctioned torture. Maybe I'm looking at it all wrong, and maybe it's important for Dickerson to refrain from making value judgements in the pursuit of cold, clinical analysis of politics. But does anyone work that way?

Even the dismal economists recognize the human costs of policy A vs. policy B on top of presenting the straight-up calculated and abstract results. Why can't Dickerson's conclusions not only involve "The torture debate is a political winner," but "Torture is a terrible affront to our values with a track record that shouldn't be trusted and consequences that leave us less secure"? I mean, jeez, even if he doesn't agree with that assesment of Geneva violations (making him barbaric!), he could at least take the time to sell the opposite position, where torture is magick and life is like an episode of 24. Torture has, sadly, emerged as a defining question for our time, and Dickerson is too wrapped up in the horse-race aspect to honestly weigh in. That don't make me feel good.


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