The issue I’m speaking of is torture, a matter that we as a nation have frowned-upon since the beginning of this great democracy. We are co-signatures against torture when we signed the resolution for the Geneva convention, and as a society, to know that “44% of Americans favor torture for terrorist suspects” is disheartening and proof that Bush’s propaganda machine and the mechanics of “selling fear” have been successful in the United States. It’s time for people to tune-out Faux News and other Mainstream News outlets that publish the fear tactics of the White House and take a look into your own conscience and understand the implications of what advocating torture does to our reputation as a nation, the effects it will have on our own troops, and the moral and ethical consequences of allowing fear to overtake our common sense!
Poll: 44% of Americans favor torture for terrorist suspects
By Nick Juliano, Tuesday, 24 June 2008
Majority disapprove of torture, 1 in 10 favor in any instance
A new poll of citizens’ attitudes about torture in 19 nations finds Americans among the most accepting of the practice. Although a slight majority say torture should be universally prohibited, 44 percent think torture of terrorist suspects should be allowed, and more than one in 10 think torture should generally be allowed.
The findings of the WorldPublicOpinion.org poll put the United States alongside countries like Russia, Egypt and the Ukraine and lagging far behind allies like Great Britain, Spain and France in how its citizens view torture.
The poll found 53 percent of Americans believed all torture should be prohibited; the average in all 19 countries polled was 57 percent. MUCH MORE
As much as I despise John McCain, unless he has flip-flopped on that issue too, he was strongly against torture being used by the United States. Why? Because McCain was a prisoner of war, and whether or not be was personally tortured I don’t know, but I’m sure he could hear the screams of those who were, and has had ample time to communicate with other prisoners of war – and is acutely aware of what torture does to someone that is being held by the enemy for interrogation.
Furthermore, torture as an interrogation tool is essentially useless! If you torture someone long enough, and the torture is extreme, anyone, including you or I, would admit to anything just to stop the pain. I’m not speculating on this issue, as it’s a proven fact:
From Obsidian Wings:
Let’s talk about torture. As any professional can tell you, as an intelligence-gathering mechanism, it’s worse than useless.
Consider that commonly invoked scenario where terrorists have planted a nuclear device in a city, scanning for radiation is mysteriously not an option, and you have some prisoners in custody who may or may not know the location of the device. Those who like the idea of torture always ask whether it wouldn’t be justified to torture those prisoners for information.
The practical answer is no, it wouldn’t. Someone who’s being tortured will tell you anything, and they’ll suddenly develop a real talent for figuring out what exactly what you want to hear, and giving it to you in detail. Using intelligence obtained under torture can actually lower your chances of finding that hypothetical device, because all your guys will be out there trying to track down fictional leads invented by your prisoners, instead of working on finding the device via conventional investigative methods. MUCH MORE, A Great Article!
Also, to those that have daughters and sons that are fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq, and future wars that are likely to come, why should our enemies honor the Geneva Convention when the so-called “Premier Democracy” of the world doesn’t adhere to its own beliefs and the rule of law? To support torture is to guarantee that when we do get in a conflict that requires re-implementation of the draft, we are guaranteeing that our own sons and daughters will also be tortured, and murdered as well, as have several recipients of torture under the Bush administration:
The Bush secret ruling on interrogation methods may explain the Justice Department’s passivity on torture cases. The CIA Inspector General recommended that the Justice Department prosecute a CIA agent involved in the demise of an Iraqi detainee at Abu Ghraib. As the New Yorker reported, Manadel al-Jamadi died during an interrogation during which his head was covered in a plastic bag and he was “shackled in a crucifixion-like pose that inhibited his ability to breathe.” This was one of at least eight cases the CIA referred for prosecution, including cases of homicides during CIA interrogations in Afghanistan and Iraq. But the Justice Department refuses to prosecute any of the alleged torturers. The feds cannot prosecute CIA agents without risking public disclosure of the presidential order authorizing the torture of detainees. LINK
If we as a nation now advocate torture, several scholars believe that by that act, Al Quada has effectively won the “War on Terrorism” by degrading our core beliefs and using techniques that we abhor, and instead of taking the high-road of morality and belief in our own constitution, now believe that “the end justifies the means”, which places us in the same category of those who we are fighting.
We already use torture throughout our own prison system, and it doesn’t get much press, as Americans seem to have a blind eye when it comes to those who they believe have broken the law. The only problem with that is that the world’s foremost democracy also incarcerates more people per capita, and possibly in actual numbers, than any country on earth! What has happened to our beliefs and morals? Are we so afraid of terrorists that we forget the principles that set us apart from dictatorships and authoritarian style governments throughout the world, and instead of adhering to our laws and beliefs, are in fact, becoming what we fear ourselves?
Remember who we are and what we stand for. The principles that our forefathers and family members died for in WWI and II were to preserve our belief in democracy and “The American Way of Life”, and that doesn’t include torture! You can argue that somehow we’re safer because we allow Bush and company to torture our enemies, but like all atrocities, they always come home to roost, and if we’re torturing terrorist suspects, you can bet it won’t be long until those same techniques are used on Americans that have been charged with a crime – and will readily confess to something they may not have done – simply to stop the pain and fear of their lives. Some police departments use techniques that are similar to torture already, and if we don’t stand-up for our values and the principles and traditions that made America one of the best countries in the world, the day will soon come when you find out it was your own son our daughter that was tortured – and then how will you feel? Outrage, anger, or shame because you advocated a principle that none of us in these great United States have condoned or used since the disease of the Neo-conservatives infected our society, and like radical Islam, it appears to be spreading like the cancer it is.