Thursday, September 21, 2006

Nihilogism Watch

Rev. Louis P. Sheldon, of the Traditional Values Coalition cares about language. That's why he wants to "clarify" the language of the Geneva Conventions, which is political shorthand for making certain forms of torture legal. Never mind that he nihilogizes the word "traditional" in the process.

That a group purporting to represent "traditional values" could come out in support of torture—an act which the U.S. has a long and proud tradition of not practicing—is more than a little ironic. That is, unless "traditional" has been redefined to mean "right-wing Christian conservative". I suppose we could ask our gay friends about that.

Here's some of the press release from the TVC:
"We need to clarify this policy for treating detainees," said Rev. Sheldon. "As it stands right now, the military and intelligence experts interrogating these terrorists are in much greater danger than the terrorists....

"Our rules for interrogation need to catch-up with this awful new form of war that is being fought against all of us and the free world. The post-World War II standards do not apply to this new war.

"We must redefine how our lawful society treats those who have nothing but contempt for the law and rely on terrorizing the innocent to accomplish their objectives. The lines must be redrawn and then we must pursue these criminals as quickly and as aggressively as the law permits.

"And since this debate is, at its very core, about preserving the traditional value of prosecuting injustice and protecting the innocent, TVC will score this vote in both the House and the Senate. We encourage all of our supporters and affiliated churches to contact their elected representatives and let them know we support President Bush's efforts to update our methods of interrogating terrorist detainees in order to provide greater protection for our troops and the innocent."
And what about the traditional value of protecting the wrongly accused, or due process, or fairness and honesty, or honor? Not in this world view, where supporting the president—a president who has turned up his nose at nearly every tradition of government he's stumbled across, by the way—is indistinguishable from defending "traditional values".
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