Julian Mesri asks “Who here supports torture?”

An honest open question. You can see that any way you like, special circumstances, any ideal situations you may come up with welcome, as long as the torture of a human being is involved. I am just honestly curious who does, and why. Partly I am a bit affected after seeing Road to Guant�namo, and then in the ensuing discussion hearing that according to one poll a majority of Americans (and an even higher majority of Christian Americans) support torture. That being said, I’d like to hear reasons, and learn perhaps this dreaded “other side” of things that so many of you fight so hard to uphold in ultra liberal institutions such as this one. So please, tell me; because I don’t understand.

An excellent question. Wouldn’t it be great if there were a faculty member at Williams who could answer, who could explain to Julian why he, like a majority of Americans, supports torture in very limitted circumstances, say the waterboarding of Khalid Shaikh Mohammed?

Unfortunately, there is no such faculty member. No one in authority at Williams is willing to offer her truthful and public support to most Republican/conservative positions. On this, as on so many other important policy questions, there is no meaningful ideological diversity among the faculty. But, no worries. Why would Julian Mesri really need to “understand” the views of those he disagrees with? Silly Eph. As long as someone can explain those views, like an 19th century anthropologist describing the beliefs of some primitive tribe, there is no reason for Julian to speak to anyone who actually holds those beliefs. Right?

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