Tuesday, September 01, 2009

The War Against Torture.

I'm gonna make a political statement here because I'm, frankly, appalled that people like former VP Cheney would go on the air actually defend torture using weasel words like "enhanced interrogation," as he did this past weekend. And to make it worse, the Wall Street Journal comes out with an editorial actually recommending him for the presidency in 1012. May it never be so.

The one journalist with the guts to stand up to this, now that the Washington Post and the NY Times have lost the courage to call it what it is, is Andrew Sullivan on his blog. Today, he puts it in blunt language.

Referring to an article by Richard Cohen, the columnist says, "No one can possibly believe that America is now safer because of the new restrictions on torture and the subsequent appointment of a special prosecutor into war crimes."

But Andrew refutes this in no uncertain terms:
Actually, I can. I think the intelligence we now get will be much more reliable; I believe that torture recruited thousands of Jihadists; I believe holding torturers accountable will help restore our alliances and give moral integrity back to the war on terror; I believe that without torture, we may actually be able to bring terrorists to justice; and that restoring America's moral standing will make the war of ideas against Jihadism more winnable and therefore the West less vulnerable than it is now.

Cohen is right that this should not be a partisan matter, as Cheney has so shrewdly made it, turning the Republicans into the party of torture, and prepping to blame Obama for the next terror attack, which is inevitable. But he is wrong that torture is complicated. It isn't. It was never complicated before Bush and Cheney instituted it. It was once an exceptional, once-in-a-lifetime, ticking bomb extra-legal necessity. Now it is legitimate according to Charles Krauthammer, the chief intellectual architect of the torture regime, if it saves merely one life.
I cannot believe that people in America are actually defending torture, to the point that they refuse to call it torture when we do it, but declaring it to be so when it's done to our soldiers.

Shame.

Shame on the news media for using duplicitous, sneaky language. And shame on the public for allowing it to go on.

Shame.
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