A stupid argument from Andrew Sullivan. I don’t read him regularly, so I don’t know if I should add “unexpectedly” as the second word of this post, or not:
The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan
No-one is saying that George W. Bush is the moral equivalent of Khaled Sheikh Mohammed. What we are saying is that torture is torture is torture. Hitchens’ distinction between torture
and “actual torture” is not one of kind but of degree, with degree being measured in levels of sadism. The point is that torture is always evil, whatever its motives, that it leads to false information, whoever implements it, that it is illegal, in America and by Americans, and no one in a constitutional republic has the right to violate the law indefinitely with impunity. There is nothing “diseased” or “lame” about this position.
Sullivan’s argument is so bad, I’m surprised he didn’t conclude it with “Period.”
Properly, what Sullivan wrote is not an argument at all, but a tautology: “Some thing is itself.” Well, obviously. Whether or not it is moral or just to divide torture into meaningfully distinct degrees is an important question, and one that Andrew doesn’t bother to address.
Thanks to Eddie of Hidden Unities for publicizing Sullivan’s mindless post via Google Reader shared items.