For all the tumult we’ve been hearing about banning the interrogation technique known as waterboarding, you would think it was an atrocity on the level of the ghastly methods used by al Qaeda and that it was being used by our agents abroad on a daily basis. Based on the news coverage I’ve seen, I never would have thought that the Army and CIA banned waterboarding in 2006. Yet now the Associated Press informs me that is the case. Perhaps I haven’t been paying attention. I’ll admit I don’t watch Katie, Brian, Charlie, and their cohorts all that often.
Mainstream media reports have emphasized the ban on waterboarding when they talked about the bill President Bush vetoed today. I don’t recall any of the proposal’s advocates mentioning that the bill also included a requirement for Senate confirmation of the directors of the National Security Agency and National Reconnaissance Office. We all know how well that process works for getting presidential nominees for administration jobs seated at their desks. Bush rightly objected that giving the Senate power over those jobs would impede their ability to take charge quickly and would inject politics into the process.
What intrigues me most about the AP article on the veto, however, was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s assertion that America’s ability to lead the world depends on its morality, not military might. “We will begin to reassert that moral authority by attempting to override the president’s veto next week,” the AP quoted Pelosi as saying.
The Scripture does insist that we ought to trust God, not military prowess, for our security. I seriously doubt, however, that Pelosi came to her position by consulting the Bible. She certainly doesn’t appeal to the Almighty for authority.
Instead, she appeals to “moral authority.”
Moral authority? What “authority” do you suppose Pelosi refers to? A moral opinion she happens to hold? An ethical tradition of some society? The vote of a majority in some referendum? A law based on any of those things?
I could take the Speaker’s moralizing a lot more seriously if she could explain the foundation of her moral authority – how she knows what right and wrong are and why they are right and wrong.
Someone who denies the reality of Creator God, and refuses the truth he establishes on earth, has no basis but opinion, tradition, or majority vote on which to base her moral positions. Who can demonstrate why the Speaker’s opinion on torture is better than anyone else’s opinion – including that of al Qaeda?
The only hope for just, civilized society lies in acknowledging the only objective basis for morality. When it comes to justice and moral truth, we need proof beyond reasonable doubt.