Thursday, January 06, 2005

'We are all torturers now'

By using torture, we Americans transform ourselves into the very caricature our enemies have sought to make us ... For America, torture is self-defeating; for a strong country, it is in the end a strategy of weakness. After Mr. Gonzales is confirmed, the road back -- to justice, order and propriety -- will be very long. Torture will belong to us all.

-- Mark Danner
New York Times opinion piece, "We Are All Torturers Now"

Jan. 6 , 2005

Finally someone has told it like it is. The word is torture. And by shrugging, and endorsing as Attorney General the author of America's "torture but not really" policy, the U.S. Senate and, by extension those who elected it, are all guilty. A harsh judgment you say. But is it really?

Listen up Democrats. Your candidate, John Kerry, said this about Abu Ghraib and torture on the campaign trail: Absolutely nothing. Once more. Absolutely nothing. Nor did you complain. And today, with the Alberto Gonzales hearings on tap, what are liberal blogs filled with? Quixotic efforts to get Barbara Boxer to challenge the election results on the Senate floor. Wrong concern, partisan conspiracy theory, hopeless quest.

Some serious people are very worried about Alberto Gonzales as Attorney General. Start with a dozen high-ranking former military officers who took the unprecedented step of voicing these concerns publicly. They understand that when we torture others, our troops are assured the same treatment. More than 200 religious leaders sent a letter. They understand that morality is not wrapped in a flag but defined by a country's actions. Maybe it's time for the left to understand that as well. This is not a partisan issue. It is an issue of our country's founding principles. Torture has no place in America. As it becomes more deeply imbedded, we stand on the ede of a path that has led others to self-delusion and, ultimately, dictatorship. This is the issue around which Americans must take a stand, not replaying the November election.


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