Monday, November 12, 2007


victor reppert said...

Some laws are unjust. But why suppose that this one is, since we seem to have successfully gone through WWII without torturing anybody. Why do we need interrogation techniques against Islamic terror suspects that we didn't need against Nazi Germany?

No one has told me why we need waterboarding now when we didn't need it in fighting the Nazis. Al-Qaida is really evil and the Nazis and Japanese weren't?

The problem with this contention is that it’s an argument from analogous minus the argument. Reppert is simply asserting that the circumstances are analogous. He has presented no supporting evidence to substantiate his contention.

My impression is that, during WWII, counterintelligence largely took the form of intercepting encrypted enemy communications.

During the Cold War, the emphasis shifted to counterespionage (i.e. spying and interrogation to acquire enemy intel).

To make good on his analogy, Reppert would have to show that we can obtain intel about Al-Qaida the way we were able to obtain intel about the Germans and Japanese.

Although there is an attempt to intercept electronic communications from Al-Qaida, Al-Qaida is also acutely aware of our electronic surveillance and, to my knowledge, tries to fly under the radar by using personal couriers instead of electronic communications. Of the face of it, the current situation is more analogous to the Cold War than it is to WWII.

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