Those who are willing to endorse torture supposedly to protect our way of life are without any doubt the worst kind of cowards. If we descend to the level of those willing to torture in a misguided attempt to gain information, then we have become exactly what we sought to defeat.
Anyone who studies colonial history knows that our country was founded not to take away rights but to protect rights. I really have a hard time believing that we are even having this debate.
Have we as people become such cowards that we are willing to destroy the rights of others for a false sense of security? Perhaps most people don't understand the simple fact that when you destroy the rights of others, you are in effect destroying your own rights. If you give government the power to do whatever it wants including torturing others, then government can decide to torture you if they so chose. It's only a small step once we're justified and legalized torture.
I'm proud of those GOP Senators who are willing to put what is right above party allegiance. I know that I will vote against any politician who votes to authorize torture. I'll continue voting against them the rest of my life because torture is wrong. Legalizing torture will be a stain on our country that won't be easily washed away. Nothing makes torture right. If our fear mongering politicians can't figure that out, then they don't deserve to represent us in government.
Paul Krugman has a well thought out piece, "King of Pain," on this issue in today's NY Times. I encourage you to read it and to write to your politicians.
The central drive of the Bush administration — more fundamental than any particular policy — has been the effort to eliminate all limits on the president’s power. Torture, I believe, appeals to the president and the vice president precisely because it’s a violation of both law and tradition. By making an illegal and immoral practice a key element of U.S. policy, they’re asserting their right to do whatever they claim is necessary...
Mr. Bush would have us believe that the difference between him and those opposing him on this issue is that he’s willing to do what’s necessary to protect America, and they aren’t. But the record says otherwise.
The fact is that for all his talk of being a “war president,” Mr. Bush has been conspicuously unwilling to ask Americans to make sacrifices on behalf of the cause...
Only now, five years after 9/11, has Mr. Bush finally found some things he wants us to sacrifice. And those things turn out to be our principles and our self-respect.
It's time the American people distanced themselves from torture. Even the discussion of legalizing torture doesn't belong in our houses of government. If the current politicians don't have the courage to stand up to the administration on torture, we need to find some who do.
Another article on the subject, "Torture Is Torture," by Eugene Robinson in the September 19 Washington Post.
It is not possible for our elected representatives to hold any sort of honorable "debate" over torture. Bush says he is waging a "struggle for civilization," but civilized nations do not debate slavery or genocide, and they don't debate torture, either. This spectacle insults and dishonors every American.
There is one ray of encouragement: the crystal-clear evidence that the men and women of our armed forces want no part of torturing anybody.