Kangaroo courts: OK or not OK?

You’d think there’d be only one answer to the question, “should we destroy the Geneva Conventions?”, but you’d be wrong. The US Congress is debating the issue at the moment, with prominent Republicans like John McCain standing in opposition to the Bush and leadership line. The intellectual calibre of the pro-torture lobby can be summed up by this comment from Peter King (R-NY), reported in the New York Times:

“I just think John McCain is wrong on this. If we capture bin Laden tomorrow and we have to hold his head under water to find out when the next attack is going to happen, we ought to be able to do it.”

There we go. It should be made legal to torture *anyone*, because in an extremely unlikely hypothetical scenario, we might want to torture one person (even though it wouldn’t produce reliable evidence). As a great English judge once said of torture, it is repugnant to reason, justice and humanity. This could apply equally well to this Administration’s human rights policy.