We’re one year away from the general election and I planned to be writing about the road ahead and lessons learned so far. However, Senator Hatch’s advocacy of the CIA “exemption” on Senator McCain’s torture ban on “Face the Nation” yesterday is beyond the pale and it deserves comment.
When the attrocities of Abu Ghraib came to light, I had a conversation with my father about the Germans who were held in P.O.W. camps in America in World War II. He told me that once the war was over and the prisoners had the opportunity to return home, many of them didn’t want to. The treatment, dignity, and respect they had received was better than anything waiting for them in Germany. What a stark contrast to the news of today.
Aside from the questionable results torture is known to generate, along with the danger it presents to our own troops when captured by the enemy a deeper question remains. Is this what America is about? Does what America stands for end at our shores? I believe not. We represent our country and our ideals wherever we are.
Americans should shun torture in any form. In these cases, the end never justifies the means. It is not about what is permitted by the Geneva convention, or what can be done behind closed doors, it is about humanity and what America represents.
America should always be the beacon for human rights and dignity throughout the world. The use of torture extinguishes that light.