Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Finding bin Laden - Torture failed but people with a dogmatic mindset still want it used.

Steve Benen has brought together several excellent sources who each clearly disprove the effort by Republicans to claim that the Bush-authorized torture (euphemism - "enhanced interrogation") got the information that led to Sunday's successful raid on bin Laden's Pakistani compound.
Donald Rumsfeld, of all people, threw cold water on the new talking point yesterday, noting that Bush-era torture policies weren't responsible for obtaining the information.

The Associated Press further set the record straight, reporting, "Mohammed did not reveal the names while being subjected to the simulated drowning technique known as waterboarding, former officials said. He identified them many months later under standard interrogation."

Brian Beutler added, "Thus, a big chunk of the rationale for giving the Bush credit for bin Laden's death falls apart. It took officials until Obama's presidency to locate this courier, and well into Obama's second year in office before they found the compound. Only then was the raid itself designed and, on Sunday, implemented."

Joan McCarter has more on this, offering an even more detailed debunking of the argument.
I especially like the fact that Donald Rumsfeld is one of the people stating that torture did not work. My opinion of him increases a little.

I have been trying to understand why the conservatives and fundamentalists as groups are so dead set that torture is the only way to get good information from their worst and presumably most evil enemies. My conclusion is that members of those groups suffer from a dogmatic mindset. They are so certain they are correct that they refuse to listen to facts or objections. Anyone who opposes what they "know" to be true must be evil and plotting to thwart them.

The only reason I can recognize for someone to torture someone else to get information (other than pure sadism) is because the victim of torture is not saying what the torturer wants to hear. The torturers have a dogmatic mindset which refuses to accept that they, the torturers, might be somehow wrong. It is impossible for the dogmatic individuals to consider themselves wrong, so being wrong is not a part of their decision process. Since the torturers cannot be wrong the victims must be. The victims "must" have another, malicious or evil, intent to thwart the actions of the torturers since they cannot be right and contradict the torturers.

"Knowing" that you are right and assuming the victim is saying otherwise simply to thwart the torturer for some presumed malicious purpose of their own (an evil person, in other words.) justifies extreme measures of all kinds to get the recalcitrant evil people to comply. Only facts can prevent such extremism and by definition a dogmatic person rejects contrary facts.

It all comes back to a dogmatic mindset which is very characteristic of fundamentalists (usually religious but includes many libertarians), members of the wealthy social classes who fear losing their wealth because the lower classes take it from them, and conservatives (usually older) who do not want to see the old social order changed.

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