Tony Blair has been accused of undermining decades of British campaigning for international human rights by using the war on terror to give a “green light” to torture.
A day earlier, Mr Blair had told MPs: “We do not agree with the use of torture.” Pressed over whether that was an absolute rule, Mr Blair added: “I mean absolute in this sense, that you say ‘Look, it is simply the civil liberties of the suspect, or simply the liberties of freedom from terrorism’. You have to balance those two things.”
And just who determines who gets tortured, and why? The police? The military? Is there a review process? Or is it let’s just torture away and hope we find some info? Also, if someone is tortured and has no information to give or just makes stuff up to stop the pain, what then, Mr. Prime Minister?
What if you torture someone you later determine was blameless? “So sorry we broke your kneecaps and that you’ll have nightmares for years. But we thought you might be a terrorist, whoops, guess we were wrong.”
Also, Blair implies that authorities would know in advance precisely who to torture in order to stop an imminent attack, an argument that is patently ridiculous.
Thus, Blair, despite his words, does believe in the use of torture. And y’know, once governments start doing something, it tends to snowball and spread, and then gets quite hard to stop or reverse.