Friday, July 01, 2005

Torture Is Un-American

Originally uploaded by Other Lisa.

The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)is stepping up its ongoing campaign to end the abuses at Guantanamo and other US detention facilities around the world. In support, the Booman Tribune is enlisting bloggers to help get the story out. You can read about their campaign here, along with what actions you can take.

None other than the first President Bush's personal physician weighs in with a WaPo editorial today about why he believes torture is immoral, unjust and also unproductive. Here's a part of what he had to say:
The military ethics that I know absolutely prohibit anything resembling torture. There are several good reasons for this. Prisoners should be treated as we would expect our prisoners to be treated. Discipline and order in the military ranks depend to a large extent on compliance with the prohibition of torture -- indeed, weak or damaged psyches inclined toward torture or abuse have generally been weeded out of the military, or at the very least given less responsibility. In addition, military leaders have long been aware that torture inflicts lasting damage on both the victim and the torturer. The systematic infliction of torture engenders deep hatred and hostility that transcends generations. And it perverts the role of medical personnel from healers to instruments of abuse.

Today, however, it seems as though our government and the military have slipped into Joseph Conrad's "Heart of Darkness." The widespread reports of torture and ill-treatment -- frequently based on military and government documents -- defy the claim that this abusive behavior is limited to a few noncommissioned officers at Abu Ghraib or isolated incidents at Guantanamo Bay. When it comes to torture, the military's traditional leadership and discipline have been severely compromised up and down the chain of command. Why? I fear it is because the military has bowed to errant civilian leadership...

...America cannot continue down this road. Torture demonstrates weakness, not strength. It does not show understanding, power or magnanimity. It is not leadership. It is a reaction of government officials overwhelmed by fear who succumb to conduct unworthy of them and of the citizens of the United States.

(Thanks to Richard from Peking Duck for the link)

If any bloggers out there are interested in participating in this campaign, Booman Tribune has the goods.

Happy 4th of July - let's remember what it really stands for.

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