I haven’t gone over the Senate Torture Report personally, but I’ve read various summaries and I’ve seen almost all of the conservative commentators defend the use of torture by the United States and I’ve come to the conclusion that Jesus should sue anyone that calls the United States a Christian nation for libel.
Let me ask you, what do you say to Gul Rahman, what do you say to Sulaiman Abdula, what do you say to Khalid al-Masri? All three of these folks were detained, they had these interrogation techniques used on them. They eventually were found to be innocent. They were released, no apologies, nothing.
What do we owe them?
I mean, let me go to Gul Rahman. He was chained to the wall of his cell, doused with water, froze to death in C.I.A. custody. And it turned out it was a case of mistaken identity.
–right. But the problem I had is with the folks that we did release that end up back on the battlefield. Of the 600 and some people who were released out of Guantanamo, 30% roughly ended up back on the battlefield. Today we’re very concerned about ISIS. Terrible new terrorist organization.
It is headed by a man named Baghdadi. Baghdadi was in the custody of the U.S. military in Iraq in Camp Bucca. He was let go and now he’s out leading the terror attack against the United States. I’m more concerned with bad guys who got out and released than I am with a few that, in fact, were innocent.
25% of the detainees though, 25% turned out to be innocent. They were released.
Where are you going to draw the line, Chuck? How are–
Well, I’m asking you.
–you going to know?
Is that too high? You’re okay with that margin for error?
I have no problem as long as we achieve our objective. And our objective is to get the guys who did 9/11 and it is to avoid another attack against the United States.
Hmm… yeah, can’t see how Jesus, being one of those innocents who was arrested by the authorities, tortured, stripped naked, and executed by a state that was also paranoid about any possible challenges to its authority and order, would feel about being associated with another government that also arrested innocents, stripped them naked, tortured them and killed them in the name of preserving order and tranquility.
We cannot refer to ourselves as a Christian nation or a nation that trusts in God when we allow men like this to lead us and commit obscene acts against their fellow man and still walk free and be politely invited onto television shows to tell us why torture really isn’t torture when it’s done by Americans.
Once 9/11 happened, Dick Cheney ceased to believe that the CIA should be subject to the U.S. Constitution, statutes passed by Congress, international treaties, or moral prohibitions against torture. Those standards would be cast aside. In their place, moral relativism would reign. Any action undertaken by the United States would be subject to this test: Is it morally equivalent to what al-Qaeda did on 9/11? Is it as bad as murdering roughly 3,000 innocent people? If not, then no one should criticize it, let alone investigate, charge and prosecute the CIA. Did a prisoner freeze to death? Were others anally raped? Well, what if they were?
If it cannot be compared with 9/11, if it is not morally equivalent, then it should not be verboten.
That is the moral standard Cheney is unabashedly invoking on national television. He doesn’t want the United States to honor norms against torture. He doesn’t want us to abide by the Ten Commandments, or to live up to the values in the Declaration of Independence, or to be restrained by the text of the Constitution. Instead, Cheney would have us take al-Qaeda as our moral and legal measuring stick. Did America torture dozens of innocents? So what. 9/11 was worse.
It is truly laughable that we claim to trust in God to protect our country, and then turn around in cowardice and commit morally indefensible acts because we’re scared that evil might triumph if we don’t.