Saturday, September 24, 2005

Here's the link to the HRW report:
Leadership Failure- Firsthand Accounts of Torture of Iraqi Detainees by the U.S. Army’s 82nd Airborne Division

update: Legal and moral analysis by Scott Horton at Balkinization

I posted this in comments:
This is the difference between corruption by action and corruption by inaction. Torture has 'been allowed.' One doesn't lead, one merely responds to others, even as one relies on assumptions as to how soldiers will act when they're 'let off the leash.'

It's the cynical manipulation of mob rule. In a more general sense you could say the avoidance of responsibility, the reliance on polling as policy -the people should 'get what they want'- and the tendencey towards philosophical naturalism all play a part in this. People are seen as rationally, predictably acting within their limits rather than being asked to see themselves as moral actors with the possibility of transcendng those limits.
Of course in this country it's seen as a choice between egalitarianism or cynicism, and its not that simple; any more than it's there's a simple choice between original intent and some other interpretative mechanism.

There's a problem here, and it bodes ill for the republic. People can't tell the moral/ intellectual difference between flexibility and randomness, dynamism and chaos.

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