Thursday, April 23, 2009

I don't get it...

So, I generally try to avoid talking politics on my blog, but there's an issue that's really been bothering me lately.

It's the whole torture thing.

What really astounds me is the number of people who see absolutely nothing wrong with it. Nevermind that it violates the Geneva Conventions. Nevermind that it's exactly the sort of thing that we would be up in arms over if some other government did it to our citizens. Nevermind that it is flat out WRONG.

But the icing on the cake, for me, was John McCain, an outspoken critic of torture (having been a victim of it himself) suggesting that we NOT prosecute the people who enabled and even encouraged this shameful practice on American soil by representatives of the American People.

It makes me sick.

Apparently, he thinks we should just say "mea culpa" and move on with no accountability.


And Cheney wants to parade the fact that it was apparently "successful" in gathering information. In my opinion, there is no success here. It is a first class FAILURE of everything that America stands for.

I love this country. I love the freedoms and liberties and innovative spirit it was built on. I love everything it stands for. It does NOT stand for torture.

Torture may be the "easy" way, but it is NOT the American way. We're better than this. Or at least, I thought we were.


PS: Angela, I thought we were going to hear about your weirdo date who made fun of you for baking cookies. What kind of guy doesn't like a chick who bakes????


Garth said...

Well, let me be the first to respectfully disagree. While I am not a full blown advocate of torture methods I can't understand the position that America should not use these methods just because we are better than that. In defending our nation the limited use of certain methods may be warranted. I'm just going to stop at that vague and open comment as the issue gets too complex. I guess my position is too never take an alternative off the table. (and don't exclude political issues from your blog)

Say what's on your mind!

EEE said...

I hear you. I complete understand what you're saying and it is a fair and rational argument.

But I think you're completely wrong.


And for the record, I generally don't like to argue politics b/c it's too easy for me to become extremely frustrated.

I stand by my stance: Torture is flat-out UN-AMERICAN. When we stoop to such tactics, we're no better than those we're fighting against and THEY WIN.

Anonymous said...

Here's my POV - sometimes - to ensure your own survival - you have to allow yourself to stoop to the tactics of the enemy.

HOWEVER. Those times should be in extreme circumstances with an immediate issue/threat to life on the table.

Torture should *never* be SOP, and the fact that it was allowed to be is disgusting. I do think that we need to legally pursue the ones who decided it was going to be SOP, but I don't think the ones who were following orders should be pursued or blamed. They signed up specifically *to* follow orders and we rely on them to do so. If we punish them for it now, we only give them reason *not* to follow any order they are uncomfortable with in the future.

It's such a grey area of where do you do as your country says knowing that you have placed your skills and body in their hands vs where do you re-insert your own will and ethics over that of your country.

There's a lot to be said for individual choice and ethics, etc. There's a lot more to be said for not abusing the trust, faith, and purpose of those who have been entrusted to your care.

- animaniactoo

Angela said...

From a political blogger:

With each new revelation on U.S. torture in Iraq, Afghanistan and Gitmo (and who, knows, probably elsewhere), I am reminded of the chilling story of Alyssa Peterson, who I have written about numerous times in the past three years but now with especially sad relevance. Appalled when ordered to take part in interrogations that, no doubt, involved what we would call torture, she refused, then killed herself a few days later, in September 2003.

Angela said...

Also, Cheney is LYING when he says we gained useful information. Military leaders have said repeatedly that torture only gains you lies--they say what they think you want to hear, and that the best and most reliation information comes from treating them with humanity, feeding them, and telling them they can go back to their families and continue with their lives.

Angela said...

OH, and E3 -- I hope to post about the weirdo tomorrow, when I'm home all day long! I'll pull the best excerpts from his emails.

I'm waiting for my date to arrive. I don't know what's worse... when I'm running late and barely finish getting ready by the time the car pulls up out front, or being ready 30 minutes early. It's not like I want to kill time by doing dishes!

Anonymous said...

The reason why Americans should be defending the Geneva Convention and NO TORTURE is b/c it doesn't work. You get false leads. If you have to waterboard someone over 100 times before you get anything -- guess what!? It ain't working and they have proved it doesn't work.

This needs to be completely off the table.

No exceptions.


I cannot understand why anyone would say it was ever okay. First of all it's inhumane, second you do not get good information. There is no reason whatsoever to do it.

I obviously agree with EEE and Angela.

Good luck on your date, Angela. BTW, you look beautiful.


P.S. EEE, when you decide to post on your blog -- you REALLY post!!

EEE said...

Wow! This one got quite a response, huh?

Actually, I respect Garth's opinion, even though I don't agree with it (or fully understand it) and not just b/c I think he's super cute!

And I agree with Ani that the on-the-ground foot-soldiers are not the ones who should be prosecuted (Abu Graib -sp yeah yeah - was a HUGE miscarriage of justice - the REAL perpetrators are walking free today)

Angela - I hope your date is going well!

I've had three glasses of wine in a pleasant beer garden, a warm breeze is wafting through the windows, the cat is in time-out, and I think I'll sleep very well tonight!

Cheers, all!!!

Anonymous said...

I am completely against torture of any kind. My grandfather and grandmother have first hand knowledge of what it means to be tortured and I can assure all of you that it does NOT accomplish what it is supposed to do. One will say ANYTHING to stop the pain.

And seeing your friends and/or loved ones being tortured is absolutely horrible!

Angela said...

Not to beat a dead horse (haha), but NPR had great coverage of this yesterday, complete with direct quotes (in their own voices, no less) from military leaders and FBI higher-ups about how the CIA and Cheney were wrong and about all the lies they told Congress, the public, etc. It was disgusting.

Anyhoo, E3, I'm doing my dating post now. ;)

Angelique said...

Thanks Angela. I heard the same program and it was not only disgusting but exceedingly sad.

EEE said...

Haha! Tom Bodett was a panalist on "Wait Wait" this morning. He made an interesting analogy to Cheney's assertion that torture was acceptable because it worked.

"It's like a shop-lifter, upon being caught saying, 'Yeah, it's illegal, but LOOK AT ALL THE STUFF I GOT!!!'"