Sunday, March 06, 2005


Morally Devalued

The President signed a directive authorizing a practice that is a violation of treaties to which the U.S. is a signatory. When a treaty has been ratified and signed by the U.S., it has the force of law, it is the law of the land, as much as any other law on the books. The President is the chief executive officer, sworn to uphold the laws and protect and defend the constitution.
So: He broke the law! His advisers who told him it was okay broke the law.
What's that you say? He's also supposed to protect us against all enemies, both foreign and domestic? Of course he is, but there are plenty of legal ways to do this that are equally effective, or probably more effective in the struggle against terrorism. When you engage in torture, you lose your moral authority, you betray weakness, and it doesn't work. Trust me, prisoners hanging by wrists, electrodes on genitals, will eventually tell you what you want to hear, whether it's true or not. Is that good, reliable intelligence?
When WWII was winding down in Europe, German people (military and civilian) fled from the Soviets, preferring to surrender to the U.S., whose troops had a reputation of being tough but fair. Engaging in torture is an insult to the honor of every individual who has ever served in the armed forces, and is disgraceful.

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