The Daily Parker

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Petitio principii

...or, my thought about the controversy surrounding the torture scenes in Zero Dark Thirty: whether or not agents of the United States could have found (or, indeed, did find) Osama bin Laden without using torture does not matter one bit. Torture is wrong; no outcome that requires torture is worth the moral cost.

But even if one were to accept the clearly false proposition that Osama bin Laden was the most powerful and dangerous criminal in the world, and even if one were to accept the flatly immoral proposition that there are circumstances of such immediacy and lethal potential that justify torture, torture in pursuit of this man still wasn't worth it.

I don't find Zero Dark Thirty morally ambiguous. I don't think Kathryn Bigelow meant to glorify torture; I think she meant to hold up a mirror.

If the events depicted in the film are true, we destroyed lives in the most repugnant way imaginable to get revenge on a madman. We cashed in a century of setting of moral leadership to kill one guy. Forget about whether it was worth it. Is this who we want to be?

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