Terror, Torture, Treason, and D-Day
So we have been remembering D-Day, remembering that thousands of young men charged into machine-gun fire and worse in service of the Greater Good, and also it’s been about a year since Edward Snowden’s revelations came to light.
With that as a backdrop I would like to revisit the issue of torture.
People who claim to know say that the “ticking time-bomb” scenario is a red-herring, and yet it persists in our imagination — the idea that a person might have some crucial bit of information, that if extracted in a timely fashion, could save dozens, hundreds, even thousands of lives, and it has been argued that US interrogators need the latitude to interrogate aggressively and without fear of being second-guessed and jailed after the fact. But it seems to me this argument gives our intelligence officers too little credit for being brave and self-sacrificing.
Similarly, if Edward Snowden wants to be recognized as a Patriot he should come home.
He might be acquitted, by preponderance of facts or jury nullification. He might convicted in accordance with the law, but then granted clemency in the interest of justice. Or he might just go to jail.
EDITED TO ADD:
In response to the issue of whether or not Snowden would or even could receive a fair trail.
It hardly seems fair that a young man with the courage to board a Higgins Boat, stand steady as it neared the beach, then rush out into withering enemy fire would end up face down in the sand, body drained of blood, dead. No, that doesn’t seem fair at all. Snowden and his reputation may forever rest in limbo, and that might not be fair either.