Thursday, December 3, 2009

What the Party of Torture Hath Wrought...

The title of this post: "What the Party of Torture Hath Wrought" was swiped from this blog posting at The American and posted by Adam Serwer on December 3, 2009.

An excellent analysis of this issue, which linked the post that follows comes from Glenn Greenwald at

-- I post the blog below, verbatim -- the emphasis is mine.

"A new survey on public attitudes on international issues conducted by Pew and the Council on Foreign Relations is gonna make the Cheneys squeal with delight:"

"Public opinion about the use of torture remains divided, though the share saying it can at least sometimes be justified has edged upward over the past year. Currently just over half of Americans say that the use of torture against suspected terrorists in order to gain important information can either often (19%) or sometimes (35%) be justified."

(Note: This is 54 percent of our public who say torture can be often or sometimes JUSTIFIED).

"This is the first time in over five years of Pew Research polling on this question that a majority has expressed these views. Another 16% say torture can rarely be justified, while 25% say it can never be justified."

"Torture is a crime. Torture is morally wrong. Torture is ineffective. It erodes our influence abroad and endangers our ability to prosecute terrorists at home. But like global warming, you can see what happens when one party in a two party system makes something outrageous part of its political platform: Even the most abhorrent behavior can be mainstreamed." — A. Serwer

The results from this Pew and the Council on Foreign Relations poll should make every American cringe in horror, and not just the 54 percent who think torture often or sometimes can be justified.

The fundamental fact that anyone at all even thinks torture can EVER be justified is disheartening.

Those who think that way must be watching too much "24 with Jack Bauer." But, even those people should note that even "Jack Bauer" never broke under torture, even by the Chinese for two years, and once or twice when he had to be brought back from death itself. (And, before you ask, yes. I am a huge "24" fan — but I am also a former Marine Corps interrogator who knows the rule of law, rules of ground warfare, and the Geneva Conventions, etc.).

Torture never works — never, and it never will.

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