When I was a college freshman, I took a class called Moral Philosophy. The thrust of the class boiled down to how one can live a fulfilled life and what actions produce the greater good. Although I believe the torture issue is overblown in the extreme, is still remains that three men were waterboarded. Given that our terrorist foes with which we are contending are committed to acts of viciousness and violence never before witnessed (chemical, biological, nuclear, acts that are literally inconceivable to the civilized mind)), I am not troubled by the actions that this country engaged in to obtain information from the three high value prisoners of whom had already committed great atrocities and were committed to more of the same. To me it boiled down to what produced the greater good. The alternative is to hold to our ideals and perhaps let thousands, even millions be subject to great cruelty or death. Just a few weeks ago, President Obama or dered missiles fired into some Afghan villages to kill some terrorists there. We also killed a number of women and children. They were not tortured, but they are graveyard dead. Obama seems unperturbed by this turn of events. I suppose he felt that this is the collateral damage of war, and he seems ok with that. I might add that the three terrorists we waterboarded are still alive. This presents an interesting contradiction of realities. By definition, Obama, by extension, killed innocent people. Meanwhile, Obama rails at the Bush administration for the "torture" because it fits his definition and provides a current political advantage. Those three men are still alive and may live for many years yet to come. And, many of us may be alive today because of what was done. I am not advocating torture as a matter of course. But, in war, ideals can be abused. War is a bad business. However, I still believe with a clear conscience that there are times when we have to consider the gre ater good, Monday morning quarterbacking and demagoguery will offer no valuable solution to this issue.
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