Stephen Barlas, Meet Saddam Hussein

Wow! Hey, I resort to hyperbole on more than one occasion, but it’s rare when I find evidence of an actual sociopath throwing his views out there.

Yesterday, I found one: Stephen Barlas, apparently a freelance writer here in the DC area, has penned an opinion piece for the Northern Virginia Journal entitled “When Torture Is Necessary.” (For at least the next week or so, you can read his article here, though it will require downloading the entire day’s paper in PDF format.)

In it, he explicitly endorses torture as a perfectly legitimate means of extracting information. In fact, he revels in it. This despite all evidence to the fact that torture doesn’t produce information of value in the first place. It serves no other purpose than to brutalize people for the sole sake of brutalizing them.

In a ridiculously transparent effort to sound somewhat less than certifiably insane, Barlas backpedals a bit with regard to some incidents of torture. According to him, we should only use torture when we really need to. Of course, we all know that nobody would ever misuse that authority, now, would they? “Hey, we really need to know where that anti-administration protest is going to take place. Why don’t we ask the people being protested to give us the go-ahead?”

News flash, Barlas: Torture is never justified. Not in — or by — the United States of America. Directly or indirectly. On American soil or foreign. Endorsing torture puts you in the exact same class as the “vicious dictator” we’re supposedly “freeing” the Iraqi people from. Any nation that endorses torture not only explicitly justifies torture of its citizens by enemy states or other coalitions, but frankly, is not worth fighting to protect.

I guess this is what happens when (as I feared) someone can’t separate the events in the show 24 from reality.


At 4:34 PM, Andrew said...

Completely off-topic, but Jeffrey Rowland's latest comic-blog "Overcompensating" is coming straight out of our 'hood, yo.

That 'hood being Easthampton.


D'you think WNS was interesting enough to do a webcomic about?


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