Posted by: Kevin | October 25, 2006

On Torture: Part 3

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Read Keith Olbermann’s latest, “Beginning of the End of America“, if you haven’t already.  He discusses the Military Commissions Act and puts it in historical perspective.  Does this act destroy America?  No, but it contains the seed of that destruction. 

This act gives the executive branch the power to indefinitely detain anyone defined as an “Unlawful Enemy Combatant”.  Those detainees are denied the right to a speedy trial and can be subjected to torture up to the point just before they “suffer serious mental or physical trauma”.  We’re supposed to feel safe because this bill excludes citizens.  Yet how can you prove that you’re a citizen if you’re denied a lawyer and your day in court.  This has already happened.

By embracing torture and indefinite incarceration, we are living up to the worst anti-American rhetoric of America’s emenies abroad and the idiot left at home.  Torture is wrong, for more that just the moral ramifications.  We lose the battle for hearts and minds abroad.  We lose the moral compass that helps drive consensus at home.  And last but not least, it is not an effective means of interrogation.

In the days after 9 – 11 we heard a lot of impressive rhetoric about how we needed to preserve our way of life.  How the terrorists hated our freedoms and that sacrificing those freedoms would be letting the terrorists win.  Those were the words of George Bush.  By those standards, the terrorists won a battle with the passage of this act.

In each of the historical instances the Keith sighted, the repressive legislation was rolled back.  Wiser heads prevailed and the freedoms that were taken away were restored.  It is my sincere hope that this newest offense will also be rolled back starting on Nov. 7th.  Democrats disgraced themselves by not raising their voices in protest of this bill.  They must not compound that offense by failing to strike it down should they win back Congress.

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