September 24, 2006 Leave a comment
I will leave others to claim that torture, in fact, does not work,
that confessions obtained under duress — such as that extracted from
the heaving body of that poor Argentine braggart in some Santiago
cesspool in 1973 — are useless. Or to contend that the United States
had better not do that to anyone in our custody lest someday another
nation or entity or group decides to treat our prisoners the same way.
find these arguments — and there are many more — to be irrefutable.
But I cannot bring myself to use them, for fear of honoring the debate
by participating in it.
Can't the United States see that when we
allow someone to be tortured by our agents, it is not only the victim
and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not only the “intelligence” that
is contaminated, but also everyone who looked away and said they did
not know, everyone who consented tacitly to that outrage so they could
sleep a little safer at night, all the citizens who did not march in
the streets by the millions to demand the resignation of whoever
suggested, even whispered, that torture is inevitable in our day and
age, that we must embrace its darkness?
Are we so morally sick,
so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this? Are we so
fearful, so in love with our own security and steeped in our own pain,
that we are really willing to let people be tortured in the name of
America? Have we so lost our bearings that we do not realize that each
of us could be that hapless Argentine who sat under the Santiago sun,
so possessed by the evil done to him that he could not stop shivering?
What could I possibly add to that incredibly eloquent entreaty against torture. Think about reading the whole thing (it is not very long).