Bell Curve The Law Talking Guy Raised by Republicans U.S. West
Well, he's kind of had it in for me ever since I accidentally ran over his dog. Actually, replace "accidentally" with "repeatedly," and replace "dog" with "son."

Friday, May 28, 2004

No Excuse For Torture

[This is a Re-Posting from earlier this month]

This morning, Bush reiterated his claim that "nobody can doubt that Iraq is better off because it is free." This is, although not explicitly offered as such, his justification for the abuse of prisoners. Isn't torture okay, the argument goes, if we can get good results by doing so? Too many New Yorkers no doubt would say that the torture of a "few Arabs" would have been worth it, if it could have prevented 9/11.
Even Alan Dershowitz suggests, as he did after 9/11, that there should be "torture warrants" issued in select circumstances to elicit information. Shame on him. Shame on this administration. Torture is a bargain with the devil. And remember: the devil always wins.

It is on this issue, above all others, where the civilized world rallies or fails. The issue is not "police brutality." Torture is an attempt to break the spirit by depriving the victim of his sense of humanity through pain and humiliation. The hallmark of torture is not physical pain, but psychological destruction.
Torture is wrong. No exigent circumstances justify it. Its gradual abolition was one of the greatest achievements of the Enlightenment. Freedom from torture is our most precious freedom. No matter how badly the government hates us, it has no right to destroy us physically and psychologically. Thus we are free men and women with the right to dissent. Now we are seeing that in Iraq, the army - OUR ARMY- strips
prisoners naked, leaves them in the freezing cold and dark for days, forces them to perform acts of humiliation, and beats them. And that's just what they chose to photograph. If there were photographs of Guantanamo, we would likely see worse.

There must be house cleaning in the Defense department. If Bush and Rumsfeld cannot understand why this is wrong, they must be swept out of office on a wave of revulsion. America can survive more terrorist attacks. We cannot survive the introduction of torture. There was a time when our presidents would declare a "national day of humiliation and prayer" to take stock of our wrongdoing. This is the time for such a day.

I recommend that we all, as a nation and as individuals, set aside a day over the next week or two for reflection and education, or prayer if you are so inclined. It is an appropriate time to put away the yellow ribbon and don a black one, or simply dress in black clothing. We should ponder the question: how have we become so angry that we are willing to countenance this behavior? I propose May 28 - the Friday before Memorial Day.


Raised By Republicans said...

I'm wearing black right now.

Anonymous said...

Those who advocate torture should experience it, say a month should do it, I volunteer to supervise.