The thing that fascinates and angers me the most is the fact that, even in the aftermath of the Bush administration the media is STILL playing the same game!
The torture debate is STILL being confined to the same hegelian dialectic as it always was, namely, did we benefit or didn’t we.
The larger issue isn’t whether or not we gained from torture, the larger issue is NOT whether or not we SHOULD have or SHOULDN’T have tortured…the larger issue isn’t even whether or not torture was legal or not.
The larger issue, the mother of all torture issues, the one that is STILL being ignored is…
Whether it is morally and legally right for an administration to attempt to MAKE torture legal by sidestepping laws, contracts, treaties and conventions to which the United States was a willing partner and even AN AUTHOR or CO-AUTHOR.
I’ve mentioned this before, and it either got missed or went flying over everyone’s heads, but I suspect it was the former, so…repeating for all needing:
Let’s use the police brutality analogy.
Cops love to kick ass on suspects from time to time, even the good cop occasionally loses control and lets loose on a crime suspect. It has happened since the days of the Sheriff of Nottingham and will continue to happen from time to time no matter what, because cops are people, people are imperfect, and the system, by God is damn imperfect.
It’s illegal, it’s BEEN illegal for a very very long time.
And it should remain illegal.
But that doesn’t stop cops from excercising the option.
I am not talking about shoving broomsticks up a suspect’s rectum, as has recently happened in New York.
I am not talking about racially and ethnically motivated killings and beatings.
I am talking about the occasional situation where cops catch a criminal either in the act of committing a crime or about to commit a crime, where they know full well that a crime is about to committed despite a suspect being caught.
I’ve watched cops beat the crap out of kidnappers or homicidal killers, watched them beat up robbery suspects working with partners who got away. I’ve seen it both through a camera lens and as a bystander.
On occasion they’ve gotten the wrong person, and the police pay dearly for their mistakes, or they get away with it.
On occasion they’ve managed to get information that allowed them to stop a further crime from being committed so it is a very slippery slope and impossible to cleave wholly on one side or another. It can be defined but never with razor clarity.
But it’s ILLEGAL.
The same can be said about interrogating POW’s and enemy detainees. There is NO WAY IN HELL that this country or ANY country has EVER followed proper procedure to the letter of the law every time, in the past, present or future, and no way this or any other country ever WILL do so perfectly either.
And here is the kicker:
But for a country to attempt to make it “okay”, to attempt to define this misapplication of interrogatory procedures as proper and legal, is the gravest of mistakes and the opening of a door that can never ever be closed again.
Once a nation allows that such practice is legal and proper, it is only a question of time before that nation makes it legal and proper against its own citizens.
There is NO logical possibility of refuting this either.
I will wager money on it.
And last but not least, once any nation has committed such a wrong there is no way that they have a leg to stand on when condemning the same as practiced by other countries against our own soldiers either.
And THIS, and ONLY THIS, is the grave wrong that Bush, Cheney and the BushCo cabal committed and to which they need to be called forth to account for.