Torture is Always Wrong

05.24.09 | Comment?

Cheney and Pelosi

I’ve been quiet for a bit and will likely be quiet again, but there are three people’s behavior I feel compelled to comment upon.

First, Nancy Pelosi’s briefing-gate. Nancy, come on, you were briefed, you knew what was happening, why not just come clean? You can tell the truth: the climate of the country was such that taking a stand on moral grounds about torture would have put you in the same camp as Dennis Kucinich – correct, but unelectable.

You may not have known specifics, but you certainly knew something was up. Torture is torture, it’s always wrong and as a leader, I would expect you to at least protest the practice. Shame on you for not standing up the first time and shame on you for lying now. Very disappointing.

Secondly, President Obama’s decision to release, then not to release, the photos of torture practiced and sanctioned by the Bush Administration. Look, the human imagination is powerful. By admitting that there are pictures and not releasing them, the human imagination will fill in the blanks – likely in a much more colorful manner than the reality represented in the pictures. That will fuel anti-American sentiment much more fervently than whatever may be in the pictures.

There is only one right answer: release the photos and release them now accompanied by a statement like “The rule of law is once again in force in the USA. This practice of torture was wrong, this isn’t what we’re about, and you won’t see it under this Administration.” Sunlight is the best deodorant. Mr. Obama, this is supposed to be what you’re about, what the hell is happening to you? Have you already been captured by the machine?

Finally, it’s hard to say anything new about Dick Cheney because he’s been such an easy target for so long. He’s had has time on the stage, it’s time for him to fade into the sunset. By attempting to justify torture, he’s only proving that he absolutely does not understand, respect, or appreciate what it is to represent America and democracy. Mr. Cheney, it doesn’t matter what was gained from torture, it’s wrong, it’s always wrong, and when we sink to the level of terrorists (they torture) they WIN. Terrorism and torture are the tools of those who are desperate; they resort to these practices because there is nothing left to lose.

Mr. Cheney shows very little evidence of being someone who is allegedly patriotic and intelligent, as he often claims. I think the course is clear, if he can’t shut his pie hole on this subject, bring him up on war crimes charges, he’s certainly building the case against himself and others each time he opens his mouth. I never thought I’d say this, but perhaps George is the smart one…

That the current and former leadership of our country can’t or won’t see these basic truths is at best disappointing. This set of issues is very, very simple and very, very clear. There is not much grey area to exploit. Torture is wrong. Telling the truth is required. Often the truth is better than what the human mind can conjure.

OK, now back to radio silence.

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