Monday, May 04, 2009

Torture - The Sin That Keeps on

I think we have enough information to indicate that multiple officials in the Bush Administration ordered and approved the use of interrogative techniques for which a consensus exists are techniques of torture (e.g. waterboarding). Strangely, though, we find ourselves somewhere in the Nuremberg trials at the point where the Nazi officials have been shown to have committed crimes against humanity but the Court has not yet decided what to do about it. Is it conceivable that the Nuremberg Court would have simply closed their briefs and let people such as Goring or Borman go about their business? Hardly.

So, what are we to do? Bad things that happen have a way of diminishing in horror as time goes by. The absolute inhumanity of, say, the Battle of the Somme, or Hiroshima, or even the obliteration of retreating Iraqi soldiers and civilians in the infamous "Highway of Death" in the First Gulf War tends to become diluted in our collective memory. One has to conclude that humans are eventually able to think the unthinkable, a banality of slaughter. And nowhere is that easier than in America where we sit comfortably watching it all on T.V.

What we are to do is to address this issue head on. There can be no half way measures. This is something that reflects on the very core of our beliefs about ourselves. If it leads to disruption and acrimony, so be it. I cannot conceive of an America that let this evil pass.

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