Monday, December 22, 2008

If it feels good, do it

Dick Cheney is displaying a level of candour in interviews that suggests he expects a blanket torture pardon from George Bush before 20th January and/or that he is reconciled never to leaving the USA again. Here is concluding a discussion (with the Washington Times) of the "enhanced interrogation techniques" including waterboarding --

And come to the question of morality and ethics, in my mind, the foremost obligation we had from a moral or an ethical standpoint was to the oath of office we took when we were sworn in on January 20th of 2001, to protect and defend against all enemies, foreign and domestic. And that's what we've done. And I think it would have been unethical or immoral for us not to do everything we could in order to protect the nation against further attacks like what happened on 9/11. We made the judgment, the President and I and others, that that wasn't going to happen again on our watch. And I feel very good about what we did. I think it was the right thing to do. If I was faced with those circumstances again, I'd do exactly the same thing.

Note the implication in Cheney's thinking that it would have unethical not to torture. Has anyone told Pope Benedict that an oath to the US Constitution trumps all other moral obligations?

UPDATE 27 JANUARY: Cheney's argument, that torture may be moral or ethical, now pops up at National Review via Marc Thiessen and Andrew McCarthy. Thiessen's theology by talking point is what happens when speechwriters become moral philosophers.

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