Tuesday, December 06, 2005

You Can't Fight Terrorism with Terrorism

In the midst of a war that has already been riddled with alleged human rights abuses, last month Vice President Cheney called upon Congress to legalize torture in the interrogation and detention of terror suspects.

In the past week Larry Wilkerson, Colin Powell’s former Chief of Staff was asked if he believed that Cheney was guilty of war crimes by advocating the use of torture. Wilkerson responded “It was certainly a domestic crime to advocate terror and I would suspect that it is--for whatever it's worth--an international crime as well.”

Wilkerson has been incredibly outspoken about the role that Cheney played in the prisoner abuse. In a separate interview he said, "There's no question in my mind where the philosophical guidance and the flexibility in order to [abuse detainees] originated -- in the vice president of the United States' office.”

We cannot advocate the use of torture while attempting to prosecute individuals like Saddam Hussein or Slobodan Milosevic for crimes against humanity. This is incredible hypocrisy. Yes, these people are our enemies, yes, some of them have carried out atrocious violence, yes, they may be difficult to interrogate, but so are our own military who they are fighting against. Using torture on detainees is no better than their torture of American soldiers. We must not stoop to their level.

Some of you may disagree with me. You may say that in times of war, we must use all means necessary to win. My response to that is simply this: if we torture detainees, we only add to the hate that they and their fellow insurgents have for us. The little we may gain through the use of torture would not justify the increase of hatred that would prevail.