The horrible revelations contained within the Senate Intelligence Report on the CIA Use of Torture are extreme examples of what can happen when people decide that the ends justify the means.
That moral slippery slide is being used right now by some Congressmen to justify and excuse actions that any conscionable person would consider absolutely and unequivocally wrong.
Things like physical and mental torture, secret payments to nations in exchange for establishing dungeons within their borders, doctors and psychologists complicit in harming the bodies and souls of prisoners in their care, agents hushed when they tried to question or stop the abuse, millions spent trying to hide the records from Senate investigators.
Yet still we hear people like Sen. Lindsey Graham say, well, yeah, but it's still not as terrible as what the Islamic nations are doing. As in, cutting off someone's head with a knife on video is worse than nearly drowning them dozens of times.
Sorry, but neither side can claim any moral high ground in that debate.
And now come the efforts to spin and deny — it wasn't really that bad; the Democrats are trying to make it look worse than it really was; yes, we tortured, but we didn't inflate the “value” of the program; and in any case, we were fighting the truly guys, so they don't deserve any sympathy.
There are parallels to be drawn here to the GMO-pesticide debate in Hawaii, with the antis playing the role of righteous, victimized America and the multinational chemical corps demonized like Islamic nations.
Of course, the antis would never see themselves as such. In fact, most would shudder at any comparison between them and the American oligarchy, much less the CIA.
But in fact, they used many of the same strategies to advance their agenda that were used to launch the “war on terror,” including fear-mongering, misinformation, outright propaganda, scapegoating, polarization, a “with us or against us” mentality and over-inflating both the dangers local communities are facing and the efficacy of their actions.
And all the while portraying themselves as the good fighting the bad.
Just like the failed “war on terror,” their own campaign continues unabated, as evidenced by yesterday's attack on Kauai Charter Commission nominee Allan Parachini, who dared to question the anti's movement, and hysterical commentaries like the one written by Fern Rosenstiel in Civil Beat today.
Fern begins by blaming the seed companies for fear-mongering, while never taking responsibility for engaging in the very same actions herself. Just as anti-GMO leader Felicia Cowden never saw the irony in testifying yesterday against Parachini's appointment, saying he “should have participated in constructive, community building efforts” though the antis themselves never mastered that.
Introspection is not a strong suit among the anti-GMO/pesticide contingent, just as it isn't among certain Congressional apologists and CIA spooks.
Which is why they both keep finger-pointing, blaming and excusing their own bad behavior under the guise that their enemies are worse than they are, and anyway, the ends justify the means.
And all the while they're sinking in moral quicksand, even as they believe they're on high ground.