Monday, November 5, 2007

Schumer showing some common sense

In 2004, then-Attorney General John Ashcroft testified before the Judiciary Committee on the question of "torture," and Schumer injected some common sense into the proceedings. Here is what he said:

There are times when we all get in high dudgeon. We ought to be reasonable about this. I think there are probably very few people in this room or in America who would say that torture should never, ever be used, particularly if thousands of lives are at stake.

Take the hypothetical. If we knew that there was a nuclear bomb hidden in an American city and we believed that some kind of torture, fairly severe maybe, would give us a chance of finding that bomb before it went off, my guess is most Americans and most senators, maybe all, would say, "Do what you have to do."

So it's easy to sit back in the armchair and say that torture can never be used. But when you're in the foxhole, it's a very different deal. And I respect--I think we all respect the fact that the president's in the foxhole every day. So he can hardly be blamed for asking you or his White House counsel or the Department of Defense to figure out when it comes to torture, what the law allows and when the law allows it and what there is permission to do.

There you have it. You do what you have to do. Adults get that. Adults understand that. If asked "would you torture one criminal in order to gain information to save 1000 innocents", an adult says yes and whom ever is the next president of the US, you better be able to count on to say yes as well. You don't want to have to resort to motivations like torture but you MUST have that option available. Our enemies are currently using it for amusement, we need to be able to use it to save lives. That may not be all warm and fuzzy but it is reality.

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