Life, Reflections

water-boardingSenator Dianne Feinstein did the correct thing for the United States and for all of humanity by releasing the report on CIA misuse and abuse of its authority over detainees.

Also, I want to note and express respect and appreciation for Senator John McCain, who rose on the Senate floor to express his support for the release of the report and who condemned once again the use of torture. This is an important voice since he himself was a victim of torture while a P.O.W. during the Vietnam conflict. It is good to see Senator McCain return with passion to his previously held position.

It is revealing to note that CNN carried the remarks by Senator Feinstein and Senator McCain from Washington, D.C. However the Fox Network did not. What does that tell you?

Below is an essay on the matter of torture that I wrote in 2008 during the U.S. Presidential campaign. I still stand by it today. As a volunteer worker in President Obama’s 2008 campaign, I am proud to note that one of the President’s first acts was to make such torture illegal.


waterboarding-420Recently, Vice President Cheney attempted to justify the use of torture by suggesting that the U.S. was successful in getting information from the use of torture, and he said that it was a good thing we found out what they knew.

One is justifiably suspicious that this is another of Mr. Cheney’s lies – like mass quantities of weapons of mass destruction, Iraq’s alleged attempts to secure nuclear weapons, the alleged Iraq alliance with 9/11 terrorists; all lies that passed the lips of Mr. Cheney more than once.

However, even if it were true that the U.S. got information from the use of torture, it still wouldn’t justify the unjust. The “end justifies the means” philosophy is a morally corrupt position. Even Senator John McCain – who shamefully now is modifying his position on the matter in a pathetic attempt to appease the extreme right-wing of his party – has, in the past, correctly observed that torture is not justifiable: “It is not about who they are, it’s about who we are,” McCain has said. He has stated in the past that torture doesn’t really work because of the extreme unreliability of any information victims provide. The truth is that there are better ways.

Those who try to justify torture are really putting themselves in a position of being no better than those they want to torture. We should be able to stand eye-to-eye, toe-to-toe with anyone, anywhere in the world and say that our country does not engage in torture of anyone for any reason.

It’s better to die at the hands of terrorists than live in a nation that justifies torture. Such a nation is unworthy of allegiance. Such a life is not worth living.

There is, however, great hope. There is one candidate for President of the United States whose position on the use of torture has been clear and consistent. He is opposed to the use of torture, period. And his name is Barrack Obama. Obama08!