Say no to Torture!
Bush is pressuring Senator McCain to rewrite his ammendment against torture -- which passed both the House and the Senate, the later in a vote of 90-9 -- so as to exempt the CIA, according to a
report in The NY Times. In a private meeting with McCain, Bush, Cheney, and CIA Director Porter, urged McCain change the ammendment so that it "shall not apply with respect to clandestine counterterrorism operations conducted abroad, with respect to terrorists who are not citizens of the United States, that are carried out by an element of the United States government other than the Department of Defense and are consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and treaties to which the United States is a party, if the president determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack."
In other words, it's ok to torture people so long as they aren't Americans, and we think they maybe have some information we want.
The problem is -- aside from the fact that torture is simply inhumane and unjustifiable treatment of a fellow human being -- torture produces unreliable results. People enduring torture will say whatever they think will make the torture stop. That includes fabricating terror cells, naming innocent people that they know are innocent, giving details about plots that never existed, etc.
It's like profiling -- that doesn't work either, but police are still eager to use it.
Coupled with Bush's claim that he can strip an American of his or her citizenship rights (check the case of
Jose Padilla - American citizen held for three years without charge, without access to a lawyer, without trial by jury of his peers all enshrined in the 5th ammendment), one wonders if our own Government might soon be in the business of torturing Americans, calling them enemy combatants.
As a Muslim, I quake a little, wondering if someday someone I know will be hauled in, and in sheer fear of what the government might do, finger me. Pretty much every American Muslim I know feels this same insecurity, this same fear that the goverenment may suddenly decide he or she need to be detained for whatever inexplicable reason, and that life will be competely and totally changed forever. Can you imagine trying to get a job with "detained for three years for questioning regarding suspected terrorism links" on your resume?
Captain Yee, is a prime example of this. He lost so many months of his life, and his reputation was smeared through the mud,and no doubt there are many who still believe he was guilty despite the fact that the military dropped all charges against him.
Anyway, the point of this entry was to encourage everyone to write their Senators and Representatives to stay tough against torture, and to write Bush, Cheney and Porter letters telling them torture is inhumane, unnacceptable, unjustifiable, and on top of all that it doesn't work.