We've come to a sorry state of affairs in the United States when a Supreme Court judge knows less about the law than us plain, ordinary folks. Scalia's approval of torture, for any reason, is in violation of the Geneva Convention, which the United States is a signatory to and is thus the law of the land.
Scalia's words are worth repeating to show their depravity.
As reported by Think Progress, on April 28, Lesley Stahl of CBS's 60 Minutes asked Scalia:
Stahl: If someone's in custody, as in Abu Ghraib, and they are brutalized, by a law enforcement person - if you listen to the expression "cruel and unusual punishment," doesn't that apply?
Scalia: No. To the contrary. You think - has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so.
Stahl: Well I think if you're in custody and you have a policeman who's taken you into custody -
Scalia: And you say he's punishing you? What's he punishing you for? When he's hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn't say he's punishing you. What is he punishing you for?
There are so many things wrong with this that its just too easy to refute the hard-right, conservative, Republican Scalia.
"Has anybody ever referred to torture as punishment? I don't think so." Well, Mr. Scalia, I do think so. You might ask the one being tortured, who is apparently beneath your consideration. After all, he's the one on the receiving end and knows more about the effects of torture than anyone. What do you think the expert on torture would say?
"When he's hurting you in order to get information from you, you wouldn't say he's punishing you. What is he punishing you for?" Again, Mr. Scalia, look at the obvious. He's punishing you for not giving him the information he wants.
What Scalia is saying here is that, if you're a right-wing Republican, and you want something that's not easy to get, its all right to violate the law in order to get what you want. The analogy to Scalia's lack of reasoning is that if I want money from a bank, its all right for me to rob it in order to get what I want, if the bank resists giving it to me.
Another analogy that proves the fallacy of Scalia's statements is the conundrum that he would be perfectly willing to undergo torture if I want Scalia to tell me that torture is against the law and he refuses. According to Scalia, then its all right for me to torture him to get him to say that torture is against the law.
Judging from what Scalia says, that's what it would take. I haven't the slightest doubt that if Scalia were subjected to the torture that he so cavalierly recommends, he would change his tune right quick and scream and holler that its against the law. The Think Progress report gets it wrong, also, by making the distinction that the torture of the prisoners was actually about punishment and humiliation, not about getting information, as if it would have been all right if it was. It wasn't.
It wasn't all right. Torture, as you and I know, is against the law, under all circumstances, for any reason, at all times and in all places. And, this guy Scalia, a Supreme Court judge of all things, who's supposed to know the law, is advocating the violation of the law, and can't see why anyone would disagree with him. Those of us who know something about the law do disagree with him. And, that includes just about everyone who isn't a Republican.
The application of the law in courts of law is supposed to produce justice. What chance for justice does anyone have with judge Scalia when he doesn't even know the law and in fact says that its all right to violate the law to get what you want?
What Scalia said, with no sense of shame at all, is grounds to have him disbarred and removed from the Supreme Court. What he said is aiding and abetting a criminal act and is itself a criminal act. That calls for him to be removed and punished. But don't call it torture.