I am absolutely and totally amazed that we ever came to the point where the merits of torture were, and still are, seriously and openly open for debate.
Besides being only minimally effective, torture is wrong..wrong..wrong. To institutionalize it by integrating it into the national defense character is wrong…wrong…wrong.
As a nation our slow, cumbersome often violent marching towards perfecting a union that embraces the rights of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” for all people while protecting us from those who want us dead never ceases. Great moral questions are never easy to resolve. The longer they remain unchallenged the more firmly entrenched they become.
I can think of only one other time when a subject was so shattering to our national character, so detrimental to our reputation worldwide or so divisive of the national body. That was, of course, the question of slavery.
A very great man had something to say on that subject and I am struck by how appropriate his words are to the question of organized torture.
“I hate it because of the monstrous injustice of it. I hate it because it deprives our republic of its just influence in the world and enables our enemies to taunt us as hypocrites, causes the real friends of freedom to doubt our sincerity, forces so many good men among ourselves into an open war with the very fundamental principles of civil liberty.”
I hear a bell ringing here.