The Military Versus Torture


In my view, last Tuesday's revelation of the GOP as a proudly pro-torture party marks the moment when they have become a danger to national security and to the integrity of American democracy. I'm not the only one appalled by what has happened to Republicanism that it could have degenerated into a party of Hollywood-inspired thuggery and lawlessness. Among others are the commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999 and the commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. They know more about warfare and torture than Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani ever could. And like every senior military official, they strongly oppose the authorization of torture as American policy. Because they want to win the war. Money quote:

As has happened with every other nation that has tried to engage in a little bit of torture -- only for the toughest cases, only when nothing else works -- the abuse spread like wildfire, and every captured prisoner became the key to defusing a potential ticking time bomb. Our soldiers in Iraq confront real "ticking time bomb" situations every day, in the form of improvised explosive devices, and any degree of "flexibility" about torture at the top drops down the chain of command like a stone -- the rare exception fast becoming the rule...

This has had disastrous consequences.

Read the whole thing. It's vital to grasp that torture is not only evil, illegal and criminal. It is also the greatest gift we have given bin Laden since 9/11.

(Photo: An Iranian couple walk past mural paintings depicting scenes from the torture of Iraqi prisoners by US soldiers at the Abu Ghraib prison near Baghdad, on a major highway in the Iranian capital Tehran 01 June 2004. By Behrouz Mehri/AFP/Getty.)