Following up on a previous topic about Alberto R. Gonzales, President Bush’s nominee for U.S. Attorney General, I found this from the editors of The Washington Post (the link is courtesy of Andrew Sullivan:
Mr. Gonzales stated for the record at his hearing that he opposes torture. Yet he made no effort to separate himself from legal judgments that narrowed torture’s definition so much as to authorize such methods as waterboarding for use by the CIA abroad. Despite the revision of a Justice Department memo on torture, he and the administration he represents continue to regard those practices as legal and continue to condone slightly milder abuse, such as prolonged sensory deprivation and the use of dogs, for Guantanamo. As Mr. Gonzales confirmed at his hearing, U.S. obligations under an anti-torture convention mean that the methods at Guantanamo must be allowable under the Fifth, Eighth and 14th amendments of the U.S. Constitution. According to the logic of the attorney general nominee, federal authorities could deprive American citizens of sleep, isolate them in cold cells while bombarding them with unpleasant noises and interrogate them 20 hours a day while the prisoners were naked and hooded, all without violating the Constitution. Senators who vote to ratify Mr. Gonzales’s nomination will bear the responsibility of ratifying such views as legitimate.
I agree. This issue isn’t going away, so we cannot continue to pretend that the torture of human beings is a minor issue (or worse, a non-issue because we assume it’s just a bunch of guilty foreigners.) The moment we condone the first evil actions, actions more evil and more pervasive will creep into our acceptance. We have already seen this and, until we erase it as Bush administration policy, we will all suffer the consequences. Is that the new vision of America we wish to embrace?