Antonin Scalia jumps into the torture debate with the BBC: Justice Antonin Scalia told the BBC that "smacking someone in the face" could be justifi
February 12, 2008

Antonin Scalia jumps into the torture debate with the BBC:

Justice Antonin Scalia told the BBC that "smacking someone in the face" could be justified if there was an imminent threat. "You can't come in smugly and with great self satisfaction and say 'Oh it's torture, and therefore it's no good'," he said in a rare interview. He also accused Europe of being self-righteous over the death penalty.

Justice Scalia argued that courts could take stronger measures when a witness refused to answer questions.

"I suppose it's the same thing about so-called torture. Is it really so easy to determine that smacking someone in the face to determine where he has hidden the bomb that is about to blow up Los Angeles is prohibited in the constitution?" he asked.

"It would be absurd to say you couldn't do that. And once you acknowledge that, we're into a different game.

Professor Conor Gearty of the London School of Economics, one of Britain's leading experts on human rights law smacked Scalia's insane analogies down.

"His devices are quite obvious, the idea of a smack on the face - rather than sensory deprivation, or waterboarding or any of the Abu Ghraib images - and the comment about 'so-called torture'..."

Professor Gearty accused Justice Scalia of creating a "nightmare scenario of mass destruction that all defenders of torture so need, to hide the fact that the reality of torture will be quite different".

Just get out the ball peen hammer, Judge. His arguments are so dishonest in this article that I scratch my head and wonder how he sits on the highest court in Ameria. Is it me---or does Antonin make most of his most vile statements in Europe?

dday replies:

By the way, Scalia - and his ideological soulmates on the Court - won't be going away after January 2009. This mindset - that human rights are OK for some but not for all, that as long as a crime is ALLEGED and not part of a conviction then you can torture whoever you want, that we should all be so afraid for our lives at every waking moment that it demands setting aside any sort of ethics or values, and that everything a suspected terrorist tells you under duress is absolutely and 100% true - isn't going anywhere.

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