May 06, 2009

Chait on torture

This piece by Jon Chait has the torture issue exactly right. People have said that to focus on utility arguments in the torture debate detracts from the moral issue, but it does not. Of course it's an overstatement to say that "torture has never worked;" I mean, who could ever say that? But it is entirely fair to say that "torture is not designed to elicit previously unknown facts." Should it ever occasionally do so, it is essentially as a matter of luck.

Megan McArdle has, for instance, said that the staking of one's hopes on the "torture never works" argument will only result in the argument ending in torture's favour should science advance torture to the point where it can be counted on working reliably, for instance by using it in conjunction with some hypothetical future reliable lie detection method. Well, maybe, but since we're talking hypotheticals now, the obvious counter is there's no inherent reason that any such sci-fi lie detection method we come up with would not likely also work as well, if not better, in the absence of torture, too.

Posted by BruceR at 02:58 PM

Afstan memories, 2

Couple more from the scrapbook...



OMLT Secfor: the best taxi service in the world



Oh goody, I get to ride in the Bison again



Kandahar City, November: And when peace breaks out, this corner here is where the first Tim Horton's will go

Posted by BruceR at 12:06 PM

Home cooking

From the Globe:

"While the war effort has worn down many Canadian troops, Forces foodies are undergoing somewhat of a renaissance. Their cooking inside the ramshackle, propane-fuelled kitchen trailers that are set up to feed troops stationed at small military outposts dotting the hotbeds of southern Kandahar provides salvation for soldiers."

Agreed. Whereas the free food at Kandahar Air Field, provided by contractors, remains truly horrible (you can always supplement it with the fast food, though, so it's not so bad), there's some real great meals awaiting if you if you get sent to one of the Canadian-manned locations away from the airfield. The promise of a break for better food in Zhari or the city has a lot to do with KAF rats always being happy to volunteer for another trip out. Of course, with the ANA naan bread was always readily available, too, which I've long loved, so I was pretty well set-up that way regardless.

Posted by BruceR at 08:55 AM