“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”
— Martin Luther King, Jr.
I am thoroughly disgusted with conservative (and even some not-so-conservative) pundits in the media who this past week have been trying to absolve those in the U.S. Government who attempted to legalize the torture of suspected terrorists at various detention centers after 9-11. For example, on MSNBC Joe Scarborough regarding torture said “Let’s not be self-righteous” because on 9-12 he believed “we need to do whatever we have to do” and “I’ll be damned if 300 million Americans didn’t say the same thing.”
In view of the fact that nowhere near “300 million Americans” said the same thing (I certainly did not), Joe’s argument goes like this: At that time (post 9-11), torture was necessary to prevent further loss of American lives even though torture is illegal (Title 18 of the U.S. Code makes it a crime for an American to commit torture “outside the United States” and authorizes fines and prison terms of up to 20 years — if deaths result, those convicted may be jailed for life or executed) and a violation of the U.S. Constitution and the Geneva Conventions, which the U.S. had ratified (the treaties that the United States enters into become part of the law of the United States, and the Supreme Court has recently reaffirmed that status for the Geneva Conventions); therefore, according to Joe, everyone should be excused and no one should be prosecuted for allowing torture to be used on detainees.