Sunday, June 24, 2007

Let No Good Deed Go Unpunished

I have seen 2 stories in which somebody who should be considered a moral hero was punished for their good deeds.

Joe Darby is the person who turned in the photographs of abuse of Abu Ghraib prisoners. Imagine what our attitudes would be of a person who discovered images of child abuse and turned them into the authorities. Joe Darby fits into this category. He should be considered a national hero for exposing and helping to fight a moral outrage on a grand scale. Hat Tip: Hell's Handmaiden.

General Antonio M. Taguba took the pictures that Joe Darby provided and started the investigation. However, he forgot that his job was not to find out what wrongs were committed and who was responsible. His job was to defend the Bush Administration. He did not do that job particularly well, and it cost him his job.

The problem with this is that by punishing heroes and rewarding villains, we simply make sure that we have far too many villains and far too few heroes.

We make the world a worse place. And, somewhere along the line, some grandchild or friend of a grandchild of ours, will find himself or herself suffering some sort of abuse. And those who could have otherwise come to that person's aid will remember.

In this society, no good deed will go unpunished.

Oh, and to those who contribute to denigrating these individuals.

"I sincerely - really - would like to see you trapped in a prison for years, tortured by your captors, even though you are innocent. And when you plead for somebody to rescue you, that the person who could blow the whistle on your abuse and end it, simply refuses to do so. This is the world that you wish to live in. It would be oh, so nice if you could experience your wish."

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