13 December 2014

No rationalizations on torture

I've been harping to friends lately that the attitude of Rightists towards science, i.e. chopping off their noses to spite their faces on climate change, is, in actual fact, a mass mental illness. You know, delusion resulting in self-destructive behavior. But I think this bothers me even more. Republicans of Dwight Eisenhower's era would NEVER condone torture, or suggest that it could be overlooked. Even Obama refers to "mistakes." These were not mistakes. It was systematic, state sponsored crime, which treaty obligations of the United States, to say nothing of ordinary human decency, compel the government to prosecute.

I just cannot abide any rationalization that suggests otherwise.

We don't expect countries that have never developed a tradition of democracy to enforce laws which actually uphold the high principles of civilization that were proclaimed as universal in the aftermath of World War II. The irony that we saw to it that Germans and Japanese government officials were prosecuted, even executed, for presiding over regimes of torture, but we turn away when faced with the same history in our own country, speaks loudly of a sad, sad decline in the institutions of the first modern republic. We cannot survive as a democracy if we do not uphold our own principles. Can there be any doubt how Jefferson or Lincoln would have viewed this development? That they would have viewed the the the officials who condoned and authorized these acts, and not just those who actually carried them out, as criminals who should be in prison, not touting the virtues of torture all over the Right Wing media? 

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