Wednesday, December 07, 2005

torture info

As many Christian leaders, including most Evangelicals and members of the Christian Right ignore the abuses of prisoners by agents of our government (well, it is not really torture, I mean we are not killing them or breaking their bones), others, such as Senator McCain (who knows a bit more about torture than Cheney or Bush- whose idea of torture during Vietnam was the keg drying up) and Amnesty International aredoing very good jobs keeping these issues in the news.

Amnesty International has a blog called Denounce Torture which keeps up with these abuses.

If you did not check out McCain's article on Torture's Terrible Toll a few weeks ago, please read it. The article deals with the realities of torture and its limitations in extracting helpful information from those being abused. McCain should know, when tortured for information on other soldiers, McCain gave the names of Green Bay Packer linemen. It also reminds Americans of the fact that this activity undermines America's values and standing in the world. It is excellent and thought provoking. Either McCain is a great writer or has much better staff than Bush writing his articles.

The best lines include...

But I do, respectfully, take issue with the position that the demands of this war require us to accord a lower station to the moral imperatives that should govern our conduct in war and peace when they come in conflict with the unyielding inhumanity of our vicious enemy....

This is a war of ideas, a struggle to advance freedom in the face of terror in places where oppressive rule has bred the malevolence that creates terrorists. Prisoner abuses exact a terrible toll on us in this war of ideas. They inevitably become public, and when they do they threaten our moral standing, and expose us to false but widely disseminated charges that democracies are no more inherently idealistic and moral than other regimes....

What I do mourn is what we lose when by official policy or official
neglect we allow, confuse or encourage our soldiers to forget that best sense of ourselves, that which is our greatest strength—that we are different and better than our enemies, that we fight for an idea, not a tribe, not a land, not a king, not a twisted interpretation of an ancient religion, but for an idea that all men are created equal and endowed by their Creator with inalienable rights.


Ryan Lee Sharp said...

Thanks for keeping us posted on this stuff man. Really.

Anonymous said...

There is another ex-POW, Congressman Sam Johnson from Texas, he disagrees totally with McCain. Somehow because McCain is saying it can't be good. Sam Johnson had a story yesterday from the Dallas Morning News. "As an abused POW, Senator McCain knows what torture is, but so does a maimed Texas congressman who is afraid that McCain's bid to ban torture will only aid the nation's enemies. With the moral authority of a former prisoner of war, Senator McCain is pushing to ban torture. Now one of his former cell mates in the Hanoi Hilton, Representative Sam Johnson, whose mangled hand gives testament to the horrors he endured after being shot down in Vietnam, is working to block the measure.

It seems to me if your going to fight a war certain tortures are only relevant.

Rick said...

I guess Johnson's mangled hand trumps McCain's mangled psyche.

I still stand, as a Christian, against torture of any kind.

I would also point out the consistency among most miliatary leaders against torture.

Plus, don't forget Bush and Condi say, America does not torture. So,even if they do like a little, they say publicly that it is not something America should do.

I still stand, as an American, as an opponent of torture, understanding it does not guarantee good information, puts Americans (including soldiers) at risk, puts our nation in poor standing, goes against our very ideals of democracy and goes against rules we set up for the Geneva Conventions.

I think this trumps "everybody does it" and "every once in a while we will get good info."