Monday, February 21, 2005

Truth + Bias vs Honesty

There's been two trains of thought that I've been tossing around lately that I want to write down before they're lost as I move onto some else. The first is Truth + Bias vs Honesty. The second is a characteristic shared between lawyers and terrorists, that of loophole abuse.

The MSM is generally truthful. I say that despite Rathergate and other such defamations. For instance, when the Washington Post trots out a story with a poster child that demonstrates how social security reform will hurt that person, that may well be truth. But, is it honest? The facts of their story can be totally accurate but honesty demands that an opposing argument be made. Bias enters when no opposing argument is offered, at all.

If a reporter accurately relays a quote which savages someone, say Bush, that's truth. If that reporter then asks Bush for his response, he's probably being dishonest. If the quote is truly newsworthy, it should be placed in context and the validity of it should be appraised. The purpose of the quote should be determined. Is the reporter merely to carry water for those quoted? If so, then he's not a reporter, merely a repeater.

And, that's the problem with the MSM today. They are truthful, but, biased and, therefore, not honest because they usually only present the argument which their bias approves. They repeat the arguments of those they support and require those in opposition to do the work of honestly reporting their side from outside the MSM.

That second thought, that most confuses me. We live under laws that try to provide for the social body a environment in which people can live and prosper while maintaining their freedoms. The laws that protect our freedoms were created to prevent those who have power in our society from abusing that power. Lawyers typically seek loopholes through which their clients can skirt the law and continue actions the law was created to prevent. Clever lawyers get paid well for their innovative use of loopholes. Society must endlessly upgrade its laws to cover the loopholes that clever lawyers find.

Similarly, terrorists use our laws against us. Or, in this case, the Geneva Convention. Clearly terrorists have no intention of obeying the Convention. Indiscriminate slaughtering of civilians is a common attribute of terroism. However, the Convention is an accord between its signatories, agreeing on what is permitted in wars between them. Why should terrorists be allowed the benefit of such an accord? They are neither signatories, nor nations. This is a case of abusing a loophole, that being that nations which submit to the Convention are then called upon to treat terrorists as actual nations, and signatories. At least, that is the argument that some offer, particularly terrorists.

What about torture? Our laws forbid torture because it was frequently used by the powerful, and criminal, to extort confessions, admissions of guilt, etc. We protect the individual by forbidding torture. But, what about a terrorist who knows the location of a bomb or bio weapon? Do we protect the indiviual's rights by permitting the killing of many individuals because we won't torture a terrorist for information? I admit it, I'm confused by this issue. This is the kind of thing that persuades people to relinquish, or weaken, a right for the purpose of security. I'd be interested in others thoughts.....


Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is torture? What the MSM is calling torture today is not torture. It is nothing compared to what we did to the Socialists in WW2. Some people would say what we did to the Socialists was not torture others would say we were at war so it was OK. But the point is what is being called torture today is in fact not torture. It is another example of MSM bigotry.

5:26 AM  

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