We are not only implying a lack of humanity for the tortured, but for the torturer as well. Why should we condone any act that strips someone of his or her humanity, especially if we create a system in which one can slip from the grasp of personhood and never regain it?
The fact is that the CIA under America's leaders -- Republican and Democrat -- has been implicated in torture around the globe for at least the past half century.
Experience shows that the reliance on illegal, immoral, and inhumane interrogation techniques is universally a very poor choice.
In her Saturday Wall Street Journal column, Peggy Noonan insists that the Senate torture report should not have been published, but instead reserved for public officials. She apparently regrets that the world will think less of us. Nonetheless, Noonan is ultimately right to maintain that the Senate document is partisan.
There are three factors that are a lot more important than the circumstances in which the U.S. found itself, shocked at the time by the terrorist attack.
There are calls in Ireland and the UK for Westminster to hold a full inquiry into what happened. In releasing the report on CIA torture, parts of the U.S. government have begun to admit and address the past and to face their demons. The UK government should do the same.
My country, 'tis of thee, Sweet land of liberty, Of thee I sing; Land where my fathers died, Land of the pilgrims' pride, From ev'ry mountainside... Let freedom ring!
Guantanamo is a powerful reminder that language is an instrument of power, equally capable of humanizing and dehumanizing others. Guantanamo itself, with its strange, off-the-books location on Cuba and its strict policy of secrecy, bears witness to the impunity of the powerful.
Below is the original version of the Meet the Press interview before Cheney's people threatened Todd with a very cold, wet death if he didn't destroy it and re-interview him. Thankfully, Kim Jong-un's hackers were able to locate the original and make it public.
Look, I'm not saying you can't be a Christian and support torture. I'm just saying that you're going to have a hard time convincing Jesus that it's a Christianity he would recognize.
The issue is not whether torture works or does not. I believe it does not work. But any cruel and unusual punishment is destructive to the legitimacy and credibility of American values. The Bush 43 White House should have known better.
For American Catholics to confront American torture, we have to confront our own tortured and torturing history as a church.
As passages such as Matthew 25 make abundantly clear, to love God is to find and serve Jesus in the form of the most vulnerable among us: the poor, outcast, needy, and marginal.
Why can the United States not prosecute those responsible for the torture program? The fact is there is no good reason. And if we do not, we run the risk not only of such heinous practices being used again, but of destroying the very democracy we claim to hold so dear. Torture is an affront to human dignity.
It is amazing that in an America that is becoming politically correct on everything else, so many defenders of a heinous and clearly illegal practice can be found.
The Senate torture report shows that detainee abuse was used not as a last, but sometimes as a first, resort after 9/11. Torture was executed not in a painstaking, precise manner, but by interrogators who lumbered casually and carelessly into it.