Friday, January 07, 2005

Kill'em all, let Heather sort them out

Even as Alberto Gonzales refused to stand by his past justifications for torture, hopefully portending the shift in terms of debate Grits predicted yesterday, a neoconservative would-be pundit has been doing her best to prop up his decidely improper former positions.

The Manhattan Institute's Heather Mac Donald first made a name for herself defending racial profiling as necessary and proper. Now she's writing treatises in support of torture. Is there a single, despicable police tactic this woman doesn't favor? Abu Ghraib happened. We all saw the pictures, and it wasn't just a few bad apples on the night shift. I wonder why Ms. Mac Donald has taken it upon herself to pick out the most odious, inhuman police behaviors and grace us with extended, ad nauseum justifications for them?

Racial profiling by police and torture at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib aren't just egregious policies, they're foolish ones. Racial profiling wastes police resources and ignores whole classes of criminals, while subjects enduring torture are likely to make up whatever they think their interrogator wants to hear, just like jailhouse snitches will generally say anything the prosecutor wants in exchange for a lighter sentence. The tactics aren't just taboo, they're counterproductive. It almost makes you think she wants law enforcement to waste their time and resources chasing shadows.

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