This is one of the most astonishing "debates" I have witnessed during my lifetime. A former vice president of the United States has chosen to make his call for the continued torture of prisoners the apparent centerpiece of his public legacy. A newly elected president of the United States is forced to make a major national policy address defending his refusal to countenance torture, and his commitment to the rule of law.
Oh yes, in Cheneyspeak it's "enhanced interrogation techniques" for "terrorists" to "save American lives". But no one has the least doubt of the meaning behind these nauseating euphemisms. They mean using any kind of abuse--ANY kind--that MIGHT get some information or confession from anyone who MIGHT be a threat, or know something that could be a threat, that worries the torturer-in-chief.
Because we're just flat terrified. And our laws, our values, our faiths, just don't mean that much when it comes down to making choices.
Accepting the Cheney arguments means we're willing to institutionalize that lack of values. It means we're willing to admit in cold blood to practicing ancient horrors that modern civilization has spent centuries putting behind us.
That is unacceptable. It's unacceptable for our national politicians to accept or apologize for the Cheney horrors. I contend that it's unacceptable for them to turn their heads and ignore them, now that a fawning international media conglomerate (the Murdoch empire) has given the Cheney views the benefit of treatment as legitimate.
It's time for our national leaders, and anyone who aspires to national leadership, to say clearly: Torture is unacceptable. It has no place in American national policy. Cheney is out of bounds. This is insanity, and it's time to put that insanity behind us.
It's time to call for Republican leaders to say it. Torture is unacceptable, and Cheney is wrong. Sure, the legacy of Lincoln has been badly battered in recent years, but are you ready to disavow it entirely? If not, speak up now.
It's certainly time for Democratic leaders to say it. No more cowering to fearmongering over the Guantanamo Bay prison. Take the offensive. Condemn Cheney's defense of torture, and demand that your Republican colleagues join you in that condemnation. Stop cooperating with the euphemisms. No more "enhanced interrogation techniques". Speak up.
Speak up now.
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