A Brief Response to Mark Shea

Mark Shea hails my recent post on torture and Obama’s executive orders:

After years and years of incredible nuance on behalf of Bush Administration torture policies (“Golly, what *is* torture anyway! It’s all so confusing!”), after years of warm and sympathetic hearings for any and all arguments that, however tendentious, explain away the obvious teaching of the Church in a cloud of sophistry, after playing empathetic host all the usual suspect from the Ladies’ Gossip Sewing Circle–shazam! …

Having a day job (imagine that), I was initially going to compose a point-by-point rebuttal to Shea’s latest.

Re-reading his rant, however, I won’t even dignify it with that.

A sober perusal of my prior posts on the subject will discern the nature of my disagreement with Shea: that any legitimate disagreements with the Bush administration that could be mounted are obfuscated by his tendency to play fast and loose with the facts; imbue dubious motives to his critics, and substitute the virtual equivalent of sheer playground bullying for civil, rational and charitable debate — which has, over the course of the past three years, alienated a number of erstwhile friends and readers within the Catholic online community who would have otherwise supported him.

For a single-post summary of my dispute with Mark Shea, see: “Rewarding Bad Behavior” Against The Grain June 14, 2007.

Prior relevant posts on the “torture debate”

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