Johnnie Moore

Excusing torture and trusting authority

Johnnie Moore

Johnnie Moore

I’m Johnnie Moore, and I help people work better together

I agree with David Weinberger when he says American

democracy has hit a new low and perhaps a dangerous turning point when the Democrats can’t muster enough votes among Democrats to reject an attorney general candidate who is ok with torture.

David also cites Andrew Sullivan’s superb analysis, from which I’ve picked out this key argument.

The point is not a subjective judgment about the intentions of the torturers. It is not about whether Cheney and Bush can be trusted. It is about whether any individual can be trusted with such power. In a republic based on the rule of law, the intentions of the torturers – whether good or bad – are utterly irrelevant. In the West, we assume that the intentions of our rulers are likely to be evil. That’s what distinguishes the Anglo-American tradition from those who trust individuals to govern them, rather than those who trust the law to allow us to govern ourselves. The point is that no person in the United States should ever have the power to detain and torture another person without due process. Once you make an exception for one man, the rule of law is over. The Decider may decide out of his own benevolence not to torture again. But he can still torture. And the knowledge that he can, and the knowledge that he was never stopped, and the knowledge that he was able to distort the plain meaning of the law to mean whatever he wants it to mean is a precedent that is staggeringly dangerous.

Just knowing Bush has that power is an obvious inhibition on freedom. The torture itself is appalling; the threat of torture is – I think – where the poison really spreads to society as a whole.

Share Post

More Posts

Conversational leadership

David Gurteen tweeted this interesting article (pdf): Conversational Leadership: Thinking together for a change It makes a lot of sense to me pushing for a

Scaling or evolving?

This post really interests me: Innovation for Development: Scaling Up or Evolving? As they complete some pilot experiments in development work the authors recognise that

Jersey

I’ve just given a presentation on Beyond Branding in Jersey. It was fun to take ideas that have been percolating for months and give them

Badgers and the joy of complexity

Great article in today’s Independent. The government decided to take action to stop the spread of TB among cattle. They found that badgers were to

More on what is marketing…

Jennifer Rice continues our rolling dialogue about what marketing’s job is. I appreciate Jen for keeping a good thoughtful exploration going. David Foster at PhotonCourier

Chautauqua

I’ll be taking part in the Chautauqua online discussion of Beyond Branding, from 15th to 29th February. Fellow authors Denzil Meyers, Chris Macrae, Julie Anixter

Microsoft’s embarassing metadata

Found via Richard Gayle is Strike that Out Sam. This is a cheeky exploitation of the fact that Microsoft Word documents retain the fingerprints of

More Updates

Emotional debt

Releasing the hidden costs of pent up frustrations

Aliveness

Finding the aliveness below the surface of stuck

Johnnie Moore

Reverb10

This is probably going to be a mistake. I’ve just read that my friends Viv and Patti have signed up for Reverb10. It’s a challenge to express online a response

Johnnie Moore

Past and future

JP has a good post summarising the differences between the analog and digital eras: Musing about culture and customers and choice: the eBaying of “content”.

Johnnie Moore

Tim Brown on play

I really liked this TED video by Tim Brown of IDEO on creativity and play. He uses a few practical exercises to liven up the experience, but also to drive

Johnnie Moore

In praise of um… er….. deeper meaning

Once again, it turns out that what we do naturally has more value than we realise; whereas clever contrivances intended to “improve” our effectiveness often just destroy significance… and make us less well understood! A good lesson for all those presentation trainers and “image consultants” out there!