07 November 2007

End U.S. Torture -- Support S.1943

John Kerry's item on the Huffington Post is simple: An appeal to sign onto a petition to be attached in support of Senate Bill 1943. Go read the bill; it's a perfectly straightforward codification of what should be a moral imperative: The United States should not torture people.

Please add your support. Following are the comments I attached to the petition.

It goes without saying that the United States doesn't torture people.

Ironically, now that the President has said so, it has become abundantly clear the the U.S. does. Torture is morally reprehensible, the potential for retaliation is obvious, and it doesn't even produce good intelligence.

Let's be honest, here. The reason this Administration has authorized torture is not to elicit information that will save American lives. The reason they feel free to torture is their conviction that we need place no limits on the exercise of our power in the world, that to refrain from the use of any weapon is to admit weakness. Torture, like invasion, is at root a means to assert our dominance in the world -- "let them hate us, so long as they fear us".

No country, regime, or empire based on that credo has endured. Nor will we, unless we abandon it. We merely multiply our enemies when we torture, and arm them with the conviction that they are fighting evil. Our soldiers fight and die as heroes for that same conviction -- why would we assume that theirs would ever accept defeat?

I'm ashamed that we have sunk so low that we must pass a law prohibiting ourselves from abominable acts. But we're here in this moral cellar, and we have to climb out.

So we'll say it, just like Mr. Bush did: The United States does not torture. The difference is, we'll make it the truth.