WHAT IS WRONG WITH INTERROGATION?

Those in blind pursuit of peace make war inevitable.

The short answer is “nothing.” Interrogation means to ask a series of questions. There is nothing objectionable in that—especially when the answers serve a vital interest, such as the Constitution of the United States which guarantees our freedoms and seeks justice for all. Certainly, criminal suspects and witnesses have been interrogated as part of criminal investigation. This is a legitimate part of our legal process. Any American has the right to silence when it comes to self-incrimination. Those accused of a crime have a right to have a lawyer present when interrogated.

Truth and justice are the goals of interrogation. This is the American way.

What I do find objectionable is fuzzy thinking. Or, maybe its not fuzzy thinking, maybe it is pacifism I find objectionable. Maybe fuzzy thinkers are drawn to pacifism. Anyway, so I don’t confuse myself and dally near the precipice of pacifism, I will point out its dangers. Like anyone falling from a great height, I am sure that the sensations are quite pleasant. The problem is not the falling. The problem is the abrupt landing. The problem with pacifism is that it makes its adherent feel so pleasant. The pacifist is better than you, gentler than you, nicer than you and not evil like you. You are evil because you are willing to defend your rights, your home, your family, your life with violence. You are willing to harm the perpetrator—the one who would take away your rights. This makes you just as bad as he. You are both violent. Why can’t we be nice and get along? Fuzzy stuff, fuzzy stuff.

I agree, it would be wonderful if everyone were polite, respected themselves and respected the rights of everyone. In such a world we could concentrate on the important matters of farming, building, planning, gathering, art, music, erudite social discourse. I seek such a world. The problem with pacifism is that there is nothing in history or human nature that supports the tenets of “do not harm another person at any cost.” Pacifism, and its political consequence called “appeasement” have, it could be argued, produced untold human suffering by inhibiting a people or a nation from rising up and taking swift and appropriate action to halt aggression. It could be argued that the pacifist movement prior to World War II caused a delay in stopping Hitler that encouraged the Third Reich and cost scores of millions of lives. The problem with pacifism is that while it makes the pacifist feel good, it puts the burden of protecting the nation on everyone else. "The malice of the wicked was reinforced by the weakness of the virtuous" (Winston Churchill). "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" (Edmund Burke). Or, as historian Gertrude Himmelfarb stated: “The desire to transcend the human condition is an invitation to tyranny.” If humans are to remain free, and to possess rights, then it is irrefutable that it is just, moral, right and good that these rights be defended—at any and all cost.

As Americans, we believe that God gave us the right to life. If we have this right (as all civilized peoples believe), then in its fullest possession this right means that no one has the right to infringe, or take away our right (to kill us). Having the right to live means having the right to defend our life against anyone who would attempt to take this right away. Logically, to believe in pacifism is to believe that there are no human rights. Presumably, the pacifist also believes that no one can own property, including money, because he would do nothing to stop someone from taking these things away. This is obviously a ludicrous position. You simply do not have the right to my money or my life. I will stop you at any cost—even if I have to ask you a few pointed questions.


~Bryce Lefever