Let me get this straight. The Judicial Watch slogan is: "Because nobody is above the law." On the Judicial Watch "about us" page, you'll find that the organization: "advocates high standards of ethics and morality in our nation's public life and seeks to ensure that political and judicial officials do not abuse the powers entrusted to them by the American people." ...And yet in this article its president is defending the illegal use of torture (euphemistically referred to as "enhanced interrogation techniques.") Am I the only person who thinks this is an absurd contradiction? Quote:
...said Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton. "These documents indicate that members of Congress approved of and were well aware of the use of these enhanced interrogation techniques and their lifesaving value. It is disturbing that we no longer use interrogation techniques that have demonstrably stopped terrorist attacks and saved American lives..."
Their "lifesaving value?" Hmmm. A notoriously dishonest organization (the CIA) says "yep, it was helpful" and that's it? That is supposed to end the debate or "set the boundaries" for what's considered acceptable U.S. policy? ARE YOU SERIOUS? Centuries of progress out the window because the government decides that torture is useful and could "save lives."
Forgive me for repeating myself, but I find myself wondering what country I’m living in. That it’s necessary to enumerate reasons why it’s wrong to torture people seems, for lack of a better word, insane. But since it is apparently necessary, I’ll list three reasons that come immediately to mind.
One: Torture is a tool used by the lowest scum of the earth. Use torture and you join the ranks of Hitler, Stalin, Pol Pot, Mao Zedung and all the rest. –A wise man once said: “If you fight evil with evil, then evil always wins.” Amen to that.
Two: Torture is really good at producing ONE thing: confessions. Confessions eliminate the need for evidence. (Most human beings will confess to anything if tortured long enough - It makes no difference whether they’re a suspectedheretic, witch, or enemy combatant.) Once a nation accepts this type of “justice system,” full-blown despotism is only a stone’s throw away.
Speak out against the torture regime? –Dare to challenge its policies? You might as well declare yourself a person who cares nothing for the safety of the nation. You might as well declare yourself a “terrorist sympathizer.” (Now, it is YOU who is the suspect.) Off to the gulag with you and your kind; where “evidence” of your evil plots (confessions) will be gathered via the enhanced interrogation techniques described in the article above.
“Leaders” that seek to employ these tactics are morally bankrupt and dangerous. For those naïve enough to believe otherwise, history stands ready to correct any misconceptions. Nobody is safe in a nation ruled by criminals. (Stalin's purges provide a quick case in point.)
Three: If the thought of innocent people being SOLD into secret dungeons and held without charges doesn’t bother you; if the idea of those same people being tortured (sometimes to death) doesn’t bother you; if you’re so hopelessly terrified that the thought of desecrating everything enshrined in our Constitution doesn’t bother you, maybe this final fact will. These policies will never secure the “justice and safety” that proponents claim. In fact, the reverse is true. They perpetuate injustice and make us less safe (at home and abroad.)
I received the letter below - It seems like an appropriate way to end this article.
As a former military officer who underwent training to resist coercion and torture I have a few thoughts on the matter. If I had a prisoner whom I believed was part of a group that was about to kill my men I would be tempted to use coercion. Having said that, I would fully expect to face punitive consequences if such were conduct was revealed.
Under no circumstances should our country ever codify the use of torture. Seeing as how our government has violated so many laws on searches, reading of rights, access to attorneys, etc., any law that permitted non-life threatening or non-maiming coercion would be quickly perverted. I would go so far as to say that except for the 3rd Amendment, there’s no Bill of Rights left, or for that matter a democratic Republic under the rule of constitutional law.
I'm so harsh on this matter that in the civil arena I believe that any police officer, investigator, technician, prosecutor, or judge that frames a person, falsifies or withholds evidence, or otherwise causes such an injustice should face the same penalty as their victim, up to and including the death penalty. Some claim that would put a chill on police work. If so then I would favor a deep freeze.
If the matter happens to be a case of an honest mistake, then the government must compensate the victim or his family in such a significant manner that it hurts the budget, and the guilty parties should at least lose their jobs. But then as a naive curmudgeon I believe that the purpose of government is to protect individuals. Yes, I realize that the reality is that government’s prime purpose is to protect itself. -Bob, Omaha NE
(For a great documentary, done by the National Security Archive, watch Torturing Democracy:www.TorturingDemocracy.org)
See also, The Politics of Terror
"Did secret police, torture and mock trials bring safety to Stalinist Russia? Did wars of aggression and unspeakable brutality bring safety to Hitler's Germany? How did the people of Pol Pot's Cambodia, or Mao Zedong's China do when their governments "got tough" on so-called enemy combatants...
Using the threat of "another 9/11" for leverage, the terror profiteers continue to grind away at the foundation of our Republic. Like the great fear-mongering propagandists of the past, they paint terrifying images in the minds of the masses so they can secure their own unlimited power. ...So they can elevate themselves “above” the moral and legislative laws that all others are expected to abide by."