Thursday, September 21, 2006

No Compromise On Torture

The Bush administration is currently seeking to "redefine" the definition of torture as prohibited by the Geneva Conventions. Great, unbiased, analytical minds such as Bill O'Reilly have assailed opponents of Bush's "pro-torture" law, painting anybody who would stand in the way of torturing suspected Al Queda members as a freedom-hating, devil worshipper. As Bill put it earlier this week, all the CIA did was play one detainee a Red Hot Chili Peppers album, and they got vital information. Too bad Bill's analysis was... er... deceptive at best.

But even worse than Bush and Bill are those in congress seeking a "compromise." These people include noted POW John McCain. It boggles the mind that anyone subjected to torture techniques would even be willing to think about compromising the Geneva Conventions. But I guess running for President does something to one's morals.

First off, and most importantly, is the fact that TORTURE DOESN'T WORK. Numerous experts... and victims... have stated that when subjected to torture, the detainee will often say anything to get the pain to stop. Especially what he thinks his captors want to hear. Such gems extracted from 9/11 mastermind Khalid Shaikh Mohammed included an alleged plot to bring down the Brooklyn Bridge with blow torches. Now, its obvious how ridiculous and implausible that is, but to a detainee who's been brought to the brink of drowning several times over a 24 hour period, with no sleep and more than a few beatings in-between, that story sounds like exactly the type of revelation that may earn you a few moments respite.

Secondly, torture is morally repugnant. Bush, who claims to be a born-again Christian, and O'Reilly, the man who saved Christmas, seem to have no problem with sexual abuse, mutilation, and general degradation of another human being. "These people are terrorists," they shout. But are they? Just this week, we heard the story of a Canadian man accused of terrorism that was sent to Syria to be tortured.

SO, torture, a) doesn't work, and b) is an affront to morality, and c) is being used on innocent people. Why do we have to reach a compromise on something that is clearly wrong?

Remember when we had a sane President?

"The president says he's just trying to get the rules clear about how far the CIA can go when they're when they whacking these people around in these secret prisons," Clinton said in NPR's "Morning Edition" interview, recorded on Wednesday.

"If you go around passing laws that legitimize a violation of the Geneva Convention and institutionalize what happened at Abu Ghraib or Guantanamo, we're going to be in real trouble," he said.

Like other critics, he said information obtained with harsh treatment may be unreliable and adopting abusive practices could lead to captured U.S. troops being subjected to the same.

Even if there were circumstances where such treatment is necessary to prevent an imminent attacks, Clinton said: "You don't make laws based on that. You don't sit there and say in general torture's fine if you're a terrorist suspect. For one thing, we know we have erred in who was a real suspect."
Amen to that.

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