The American conscience, when it decides to act, is mighty–but it is also sluggish and vain. Americans are crushed by the weight of not fulfilling their own high expectations–so the shameful acts of one generation are often rectified by a subsequent generation unencumbered by their own complicity in such acts…The American conscience is often slow to action, but not because it cannot recognize evil–but because our view of ourselves as a people guided by justice is so important to who we are that when confronted with proof of our own shortcomings, we recoil in shame and precious vanity. Eventually, with the big stuff, we usually find our way–we see this with our slow, staggering, but inevitable march towards full personhood for gays and lesbians. And while those who stained America’s honor with war crimes have escaped accountability for now, these American takfiris will eventually be judged by history with a clarity we cannot muster today.
via American Takfiris – Ta-Nehisi Coates.
Great post by guest Adam Sewer. Definitely worth the read.
Survey: Support for terror suspect torture differs among the faithful – CNN.com:
“White evangelical Protestants were the religious group most likely to say torture is often or sometimes justified — more than six in 10 supported it. People unaffiliated with any religious organization were least likely to back it. Only four in 10 of them did.”
This is why people fear the religious. We don’t have the courage of our convictions.
“But love your enemies, do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return. Your reward will be great, and you will be children of the Most High; for
his he is kind to the ungrateful and the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”
— Luke 6:35-36
This was a great debate. It’s get’s heated in Pt. 2 so be forewarned. I side with Jon on this. “Those who want to trade freedom for security deserve neither.” — Ben Franklin
Great apology for the Truman comment.
Cheney, others OK’d harsh interrogations – Yahoo! News:
“Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.
The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.”
(Via Yahoo! News.)
I actually saw this on The West Wing. General would fall on his sword if Bartlett’s assassination of a terrorist is found out. Great drama, but highly disturbing in real life. It’s always easy to go along when they aren’t coming for you. That’s why we have to stand up against torture regardless of whose the target. Even if you have no morals whatsoever the poem First they came… provides good enough reason to do so. Ashcroft’s quote at the end of the story is great.
“Why are we talking about this in the White House?” the network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. “History will not judge this kindly.”
Tapes’ Destruction Hovers Over Detainee Cases – New York Times:
“‘They thought they were saving themselves from legal scrutiny, as well as possible danger from Al Qaeda if the tapes became public,’ said Frederick P. Hitz, a former C.I.A. officer and the agency’s inspector general from 1990 to 1998, speaking of agency officials who favored eliminating the tapes. ‘Unknowingly, perhaps, they may have created even more problems for themselves.’”
(Via The NY Times.)
You don’t beat the lawless by becoming like them.
Thursday, Mar. 13, 2008 – Quotes of the Day – TIME:
“‘Stop exercising double standards on human rights issues and wrongly meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.’
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, accusing the U.S. of double standards over human rights in response to a U.S. report labeling Beijing an authoritarian regime.“
While I’m not given to facile comments about torture, this quote hit me. It reminds me why when we play word games and parse our way to activities like waterboarding, we still lose.