GOP and torture: the love affair continues

I’ve been wanting to write a good post on this, but I realize I’m just never going to get around to it.  You should therefore read Andrew Sullivan’s post.  Or at least the excerpt from it below:

The idea that war instantly justifies torture is about as anti-American and anti-Western a statement as anyone can make. Ronald Reagan signed the 1984 Convention Against Torture with the following words:

“The United States participated actively and effectively in the negotiation of the Convention . It marks a significant step in the development during this century of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment or punishment. Ratification of the Convention by the United States will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately still prevalent in the world today.

Notice that Reagan was not quibbling about the precise meaning of “torture”. He signed a Convention against anything that could even faintly be considered torture – any “inhuman treatment” of prisoners. This current incarnation of Republicanism is so crude, so un-American, so fascistic in its disdain for the rule of law and its relish for violence that it should have no place in a Western polity. To have leading Republican candidates embrace torture in this way renders it the only political party in the entire Western world to embrace the abuse and torture of prisoners. It is unique in the West in embracing the tactics of totalitarian states throughout the world.

Only Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman are willing to stand up to the bloodlust in the Republican party on this issue.  Just sad.  Actually, even more sad is how many ordinary Americans the Republican party has now managed to convince that torture is a good and necessary thing.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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