"Hardball," Christopher Matthews nightly rant, yesterday featured a "conversation" amongst Matthews, Michael Smerconish, and Christopher Hitchen. Matthews, who seems to have some residual sense of decency on the issue of torture, offered Cheney’s recent defense of water boarding, etc. as a topic for discussion.
Hitchen made it clear that he would not tolerate the idea of government torture of anyone under any circumstances.
Smerconish said repeatedly that in his view there are no limits to what one can do to an al-Qa’ida suspect or detainee. Matthews asked him it would be acceptable to shoot the suspect’s toes off one at a time. (This must be a reference to the wretched "24" program. Matthews lacks the imagination for creation of that "technique" on his own) Smerconish said that would be acceptable. How about a blowtorch? That was also said to be "fine." Smerconish reiterated his opinion that there are no limits in dealing with "them."
Matthews asked him what sort of system of morality led Smerconish to have such a view. After a little fumbling around it became clear that Smerconish does not consider Islamic terror suspects to be fully human. Further pressure caused Smerconish to admit that he does not think people outside his group, i.e., Americans, really are deserving of what are quaintly called "human rights."
Matthews said that he mostly agreed with this view, but that he thought some restraints still existed. I suppose the thought of his possible reception at the altar rail in approaching for the Eucharist might have had some restraining effect in that statement. Maybe.
Wikiworld "research" indicates that Smerconish is of Yugoslavian descent. pl