According to Peck, an evil person:
- Projects his or her evils and sins onto others... scapegoating behavior
- Is unable to think from other people's viewpoints.
- displays intolerance to criticism and other forms of narcissistic injury
My favorite lie was commenter Van's attempt to claim that waterboarding wasn't torture by describing it as "pouring water on them", as if it was a shower or something. This is obviously a well-practiced justification. It's not original to Van, but a meme that has been circulating on the right for a few years. The right is an echo-chamber of lies.
Speaking of torture, a couple of recent items that are worth noting: The torture of Abu Zubaydah, which came up in the dialog, turns out to have revealed nothing of value and it appears that he was not very highly placed in al-Qaeda in the first place:
Moreover, within weeks of his capture, U.S. officials had gained evidence that made clear they had misjudged Abu Zubaida. President George W. Bush had publicly described him as "al-Qaeda's chief of operations," and other top officials called him a "trusted associate" of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden and a major figure in the planning of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. None of that was accurate, the new evidence showed.Hm, turns out this was revealed as early as 2006, but that didn't stop Bush from using Zubaydah's worthless intelligence as justification for further use of torture.
And a Spanish Court (same judge, Baltasar Garzón, who brought charges against Pinochet a few years back) is contemplating issuing arrest warrants for a set of high-level Bush administration officials, including John Yoo, Doug Feith, and David Addington (who by reputation seems to have been one of the main sources of abuse of power in the Bush administration) . Good. It turns out the US has prosecuted foreign officials for torture, so the precedents are in place.
I don't suppose any of that will change any opinions over at One Cosmos. Those folks have too much at stake to ever acknowlege that there might be some evil on their side of the fence they've erected in their minds. That would require not just a political change of heart but a revolution in their metaphysical picture of the world, and no such revolution is forthcoming. "And you never ask questions / When God's on your side." I admit to being a little disappointed; I thought these people had a spark of intelligence (or something) that is generally missing from the right.