Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld bears direct responsibility for the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody, the ACLU and Human Rights First charged in the first federal court lawsuit to name a top U.S. official in the ongoing torture scandal in Iraq and Afghanistan that has tarnished America's reputation.
Let me once again state my unequivocal opposition to torture in any form. Torture does not extract useful information. Torture does more to harm the perpetrators. Torture is morally wrong. By adopting torture as an accepted practice, the United States has placed itself in the company of moral giants stretching from Pharoah's Egypt to Nazi Germany to the Khmer Rouge.
It is likely that some "information" used by George Bush and Colin Powell to assert that Iraq had WMD was extracted by torture from prisoners in Afghanistan and Cuba.
No matter what a human being has done to you, you are not justified to torture that person. This is, to me, part of being civilized. When one sinks to the same level as a terrorist, then one becomes a terrorist.
I feel the same way about the death penalty.
There is a cancer in our polity. It is deep and abiding. The only question is whether the means to remove and cure it might not lead to the death of the patient. Us.