Monday, November 14, 2005

Torture? Not in America We Don't!

So there I was, plotting to make a big splash with my first post - researching, reading, thinking..... and then The Economist and The Times go and steal my thunder. Darn the luck.

Oh well, I'm going to charge ahead anyway.

Riddle me this - why on earth does the Bush Administration continue to campaign for the legalization of torture? America should be a beacon of democracy and freedom for the rest of the world. Most of the time we are. However, when it comes to the issue of torture, we fail miserably.

I'm not referring to Abu Gharib or any of the other prisoner abuse that has come to light. Regrettable, shameful, wrong - the abuse was all of those things. But this time, I'm referring to the Bush Administration's insistence that the President will veto any bill that presumes to ban any cruel, degrading or inhumane punishment. To make matters worse, the Vice President continues to campaign for an exemption of the CIA from the torture ban.

Why do they continue to bulldoze ahead despite the the moral mineshaft over which they are suspending themselves? Bush and Co. are Christians, except of course when it comes to people who want to kill Americans and other innocents. In their eyes, these "illegal comabatants" don't even deserve to be treated as humans. They're evil people. Torture, no human rights, and for a couple years, not even allowed to see a lawyer.

On the brighter side, the Senate just passed an amendment to the Defense budget bill banning "cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment or punishment." The bill's sponsor was Senator John McCain, a Vietnam Vet and POW for 4.5 years. He was tortured. Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld and others have never been in combat, never been captured, and never been tortured. However, they continue to insist that to maintain national security, America must still have the right to torture prisoners. In contrast, McCain and other POWs state that the information gathered under torture is practically worthless. People who have been tortured will say almost anything to get the pain to stop.

Yet that is not the primary argument for why America should disallow torture. We should disallow it because America is BETTER than that. We should not stoop to the level of terrorists and 3rd World dictators to protect America. By doing so, any moral authority we gain through our good faith efforts to reconstruct Iraq and Afghanistan is lost. Do you think moderate Muslims believe our President's claims that "We do not torture," even as the Administration publicy refuses to give up the right to torture? I don't think so.

1 comment:

radar said...

What is "torture?"

Excellent post, Cap'n, but I have to ask you, what is "torture?" McCain has every right being a tortured prisoner in Vietnam for over four years to make a law against such torture, but we're not shoving bamboo under fingernails and making prisoners drink water until they're full and jumping on their stomachs.

Is torture not letting someone sleep for 24 hours? Is torture having someone tied up and barked at by dogs? I don't think so.

All this law does is provide political ammo for Democrats. Since we're not torturing anyone now the left will use this law to lambast Bush by claiming that captured terroritsts are "tortured" by being forced to listen to Harry Potter.

Shame on John McCain for tossing this red mead to the ravenous American left.