yet another morally, even logically inconsistent Romney advisor: introducing General “Spider” Marks

“Retired General James ‘Spider’ Marks, who has just been named a new national security adviser to Mitt Romney’s campaign, asserted in a 2005 interview that he would readily torture prisoners to save a soldier’s life or stop a terror bomb, saying: ‘I’d stick a knife in somebody’s thigh in a heartbeat,'” as reported by Greg Sargent in a TMP ElectionCentral post titled Romney’s New National Security Adviser Said He’d Torture “In A Heartbeat”

In announcing the appointment of Marks, the Romney campaign put out a press release emphasizing his “more than three decades of experience in the intelligence field.” But according to CNN, Marks also is a teacher of “interrogation.” And as a CNN analyst, he elaborated on his views of torture on the network on November 8, 2005 …

… [CNN Interviewer] FOREMAN: …So in your experience and in your view, torture as a policy should be against the law?

MARKS: True.

FOREMAN: And yet, we might still have to use it.

MARKS: True.

That would appear to be an explicit endorsement of illegal torture.

Contacted by Election Central, Romney spokesman Kevin Madden declined to comment on Marks’ assertions or say whether Governor Romney agreed with them. Madden did, however, say that Romney opposes torture, though he also confirmed that Romney supports the use of “enhanced interrogation techniques.” Madden declined to specify what techniques in particular Romney was referring to … etc., etc.

Let us leave aside the fact that the good general thinks he’s Jack Bauer. At least Jack Bauer—a fictional character in the Fox television series 24—is morally, and logically, consistent, at least within the framework of an evolving narrative. Would the general really have violated the Laws of Land Warfare that he is, or was, sworn to protect and uphold?—this is a frightening arrogation of personal power and prerogative by a US flag officer in command of armed formations—what other laws or norms of conduct would the general set aside, under what conditions, and upon what basis or according to what theory of military law or conduct?

The good general should feel right at home in the primate exhibit that passes for Team Romney’s posh waterfront headquarters. Perhaps the only person as inconsistent, equivocal, inarticulate, and possibly dangerous to our troubled republic as General “Spider” Marks is Romney’s gibbering helper-monkey Kevin Madden, or especially Romney himself.

yours &c.
dr. g.d.

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