Saturday, June 9, 2007

One more reason to put Kucinich in the White House

An April 2006 Statement:
How can a President say: "We do not torture" but reserve the right to do so? This type of deception and brutality is losing us essential and necessary friends all over the world. We are also losing our souls in exchange for an imaginary, short-term gain. In fact, some of the "intelligence" obtained by torture that there were WMDs in Iraq demonstrates that people who are being tormented will say anything to make the pain go away. We know of at least 28 prisoners that were killed during interrogation during our recent wars. One was a high-ranking Iraqi officer who, apparently, was not providing enough "actionable intelligence" on WMDs. While God may forgive us for our actions, others nations are not as generous.
he reality is that the United States has employed torture and has transported people to certain torture -- and perhaps death. Torture is not an American value, and the President's signing statement reserving the right to torture is a clear violation of international and U.S. law that makes all of us -- and especially our soldiers -- less safe. The dismissal of the Geneva Convention as "quaint" and the legal gymnastics performed by this administration to justify brutalizing another human should shock all of us.
he failure of Congress to confront the President over the lawless signing statement is another disturbing chapter in its failure to exercise oversight of an "out of control" administration.
For the head of the C.I.A. to testify in front of Congress that "water boarding" is a "professional interrogation technique" is horrifying. In essence, the American people are being told that Thomas de Torquemada and the rest of the Spanish Inquisitors were not torturers when they used the "aselli," the water torment; they were merely professional and forceful questioners. Let us be candid, water boarding is a war crime. And following the administration's legal analysis, the Spanish inquisitors were not guilty of torture because their goal was not to inflict pain, it was merely to save souls. The fact that people would suffer pain was just an unfortunate by-product of saving souls.
othing is more misleading -- or immoral -- than the use of the "ticking time bomb" scenario. Even if such a scenario existed -- which has yet to be documented -- does it justify wholesale torture and the brutalization of people we suspect could or might do something in the future? As we have learned, framing all threats as "imminent" is a convenient way to anaesthetize people's consciences to agree that the ends do justify the means.
he America that people around the world have come to love and admire is being destroyed by degrees by messianic militarists who believe that torture and force are the tools God has given them to use. Clearly, if they simply employ them to merely save lives, why not employ them to save immortal souls?
orture degrades us as a people. History has shown that when torture is employed, interrogators become lazy and brutal, and many, many innocent people die or are destroyed for life. Our humanity is the first death in the process.
y reasons for opposing torture are not just the clear moral prohibition, but a more practical reason: What would you do if your child was tortured -- especially if they were innocent, as so many tortured people are?
orture breeds torture and brutality. Torture is a slope no American should step onto.