Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Torture

Torture

What is torture? Where is the line in the sand that defines the limits that another human being can push another person? What extenuating circumstance could force a democratic country that is formed by laws enforced be men (women) to break those laws (treaties) and use torture to get information?

According to the Merriam- Webster dictionary the definition of torture is:
Etymology:
Middle French, from Old French, from Late Latin tortura, from Latin tortus, past participle of torquēre to twist; probably akin to Old High German drāhsil turner, Greek atraktos spindle
Date:
1540
1 a: anguish of body or mind: AGONY b: something that causes agony or pain2: the infliction of intense pain (as from burning, crushing, or wounding) to punish, coerce, or afford sadistic pleasure3: distortion or over refinement of a meaning or an argument: STRAINING

The line drawn is not in sand but in the marble steps of the Capitol Building, the grave stones in Arlington Cemetery and Flanders Fields in Europe. Men and women over the last two hundred years fought for the right to be held accountable and equal before the law. We have laws that firmly say the United States will not engage in torture, we signed the Geneva Conventions honoring the international law voiding torture of other citizens.

The cause that started this chain reaction: 9/11. Sometimes I find it hard to reconcile that beautiful day and the sight of air planes going into the Twin Towers.

9/12. The Bush Administration understandably terrified of another attack, moved quickly to gather as much information in order to thwart Al Qaeda. In its fear and haste the Bush Administration deemed it necessary to provide ill written legal memos to provide cover for the CIA. Fear is a powerful emotion, it can be used to sharpen focus on a task, and it can also be used to manipulate the law: the ends justify the means.
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