Sunday, January 16, 2005

Torture Part Five: Why The United States Of America Should Never Resort To Torture

  • Do we mean it or is it just a bunch of fucking bullshit?

  • The use of torture is a fundamental betrayal of American values. Over the past two hundred and thirty or so years, we have become the place you go when you are fleeing repression. If you are looking for political freedom, religious freedom, economic freedom, the United States of America was the country to go to. We overcame our own faults and flaws: slavery, segregation, the red scares, to become a nation that was morally, economically and politically strong.

    The United States of America became the leader in human rights – we set the standard.

    Until now.

    By using torture, we have stepped outside the bounds of international law. We have reneged on treaties we are signators to. We are behaving like that which we most despise.

    My grandfather died on Omaha Beach. He was a German-American. He went to fight to free people from oppression and tyranny and died on their soil. Torture in the name of the United States of America stains my grandfather’s service.

    Torture is unpatriotic and unamerican. The United States of America is a better and stronger nation than to need to resort to that. Torture is the easy option chosen by a political command to lazy to do the work of preparing for the aftermath of a war they led us into using falsehoods.

    The spiritual damage to our nation is incalculable.

    Really though, my final thoughts on torture as an accepted policy were best summed up by a gentleman who called into a local talk radio program on the subject. He said that he was a history teacher and that for the past thirty years he taught his students that “Nazis and communists used torture. American soldiers prevent torture.” That pretty much sums up my feeling about our nation using torture as a form of policy; I feel it violates the spirit of what America is, does and stands for. To me, that alone is reason enough to avoid using torture.

    Personal Note:

    Some may wonder why I return to Nazi Germany to make so many points. I do not think our soldiers, even at their worst, are comparable to the Nazis. I return to Nazi Germany because that regime is iconic of evil beyond debate. Also, the Nazis had a personal, though indirect effect on me. For six years, from age nine to fifteen, I attended a private Catholic school in Irving, Texas. The priest who was our homeroom teacher, was also a Holocaust survivor. I still remember seeing those numbers, burned into his arm, from forty some odd years before. He was a good man, but he was scarred and damaged psychologically in ways that I cannot even begin to comprehend.

    He was a living survivor of torture.

    Torture is always evil. No matter what good can be claimed to result from it, it is always evil. People who commit torture are as scarred and damaged as the victims, although they may not know it.

    I believe in a loving, caring, creative Goddess. I do not believe in hell. Yet, I do think that there is some sort of karmic bill we must pay in return for the evil we do upon this earth.

    Blessings to you.

    Index to the Torture Posts:
    Torture Part One: Hostage Rescue/Bomb Goes Off In An Hour Scenario
    Torture Part Two: Abu Ghraib
    Torture Part Three: Make Sure You Torture The Right People And Make Sure They Are Telling The Truth
    Torture Part Four: Do We Want To Encourage The Worst In Humanity?
    Torture Part Five: Why The United States Of America Should Never Resort To Torture