"We will have to repent in this generation not merely for the hateful words and actions of the bad people but for the appalling silence of the good people." From "Letter from Birmingham Jail," April 16, 1963
Surrender is not victory.
Link to site
When our leaders condone or encourage torture, murder, or rape in Iraq, Gitmo, or anywhere else... This puts our captured troops at more risk. The Geneva Accords protect our own. A refusal to respect these accords has hurt our people, ruined our reputation, lost us credibility, and squandered the solidarity once extended by our allies. The arrogant and amoral behaviors of Rumsfeld, Cheney, and Bush are where the buck stops. We need to restore integrity, civil law, constitutional guarantees, and accountability. We were misled into this war, and it has become an overt use of our military as enforcers for no-bid contracts which should not stand. We need to do the right thing. Preserving the peace is victory, surrendering to endless war is defeat. And war of choice is rank treason.
The Fog of war.... Our Mythical Free Press
"When our leaders condone or encourage torture, murder, or rape..."
"No good intelligence is going to come from abusive practices," the army's deputy chief of staff for intelligence,
Lieutenant General John Kimmons, told Pentagon reporters recently. ``I think the empirical evidence of the
last five years tells us that. And, moreover, any piece of intelligence which is obtained under duress, through
the use of abusive techniques, would be of questionable credibility, and . . . it would do more harm than good
. . . We can't afford to go there."
Ethics are not situational. Torture does not extract useful information. Our military knows that.
This is why they oppose
Cheney and Bush's amoral, reprehensible, and patently
irresponsible surrender of
our principles. Their depraved advocacy for torture and other illegal behavior can only hurt our cause,
our troops, and our nation.
Torturing someone with a drill is not a first option. It is not even a last option. It is a perverse crime which
serves no purpose. We know that sick atrocities only lead to more violence and disaster. We have proof.
Only a moral coward or a sociopath would consider abandoning values and sinking to the level of the criminal.
Civilized people, grounded in faith, are blessed with the courage and fortitude to do the right thing. Their
loyalty is rewarded. Courage is more powerful than a surrender to panic and fear. Those who engage
in rhetorical fear mongering or linguistic acrobatics to try to justify illegal and immoral behavior, need to get
a grip. Tacit surrender to terror is not a victory. We have something to protect. False choices
ticking bomb tricks, and other logical fallacies are not reasonable. They propose invalid arguments.
Luban writes that "there are certain situations so monstrous that the idea that the processes of moral
rationality could yield an answer in them is insane," and "to spend time thinking what one would decide if
one were in such a situation is also insane, if not merely frivolous."
Indeed, shouldn't the President, the Vice President, and those members of the Senate and House embracing
the power to torture without justification, without court oversight, and without limits, look, instead, at what they are doing to us as a society? As professor Luban notes,
"McCain has said that ultimately the debate is over who we are. We will never figure that out until we stop talking about ticking
bombs, and stop playing games with words."
|The Ticking Bomb Fallacy "There are certain situations so monstrous that the idea that the processes of moral rationality could yield an answer in them is insane," and "to spend time thinking what one would decide if one were in such a situation is also insane, if not merely frivolous."|
As most professional interrogators explain, and as the U.S. army’s interrogation manual confirms, coercive interrogation is far less likely to produce reliable information than the time-tested methods of careful questioning, probing, cross-checking, and gaining the confidence of the detainee. A person facing severe pain is likely to say whatever he thinks will stop the torture. But a skilled interrogator can often extract accurate information from the toughest suspect without resorting to coercion.
Moreover, once the norm against torture is breached, it is difficult to limit the consequences. Those who face increased risk of torture are not only “terrorist suspects” but anyone who finds himself in custody anywhere in the world—including, of course, Americans. After all, how can the United States protest others’ mistreatment of its troops when their jailors do no more than what Washington does to its own detainees?
In addition, a compromised prohibition of torture undermines other human rights. That endangers us all, in part because of the dangerous implications for the campaign against terrorism. Why, after all, is it acceptable to breach the fundamental prohibition of torture but not acceptable to breach the fundamental prohibition against attacking civilians? The torturer may justify his conduct by appeal to a higher good, but so do most terrorists. In neither case should the end be allowed to justify the means. The Twisted Logic of Torture
Right wing pundits would have us accept situational ethics, devalue civil
and call common decency "old-hat."
|In the wake of Abu Ghraib and other revelations, Senator John McCain introduced a bill to affirm the absolute ban on "cruel, inhumane and degrading" treatment by U.S. agents anywhere in the world. The administration fought tooth and nail to defeat the measure. When passage of the bill became inevitable, the Administration succeeded in inserting amendments that seriously undermined it.|
|FACES FROM GUANTANAMO Anthony Kaufman, AlterNet 'The Road to Guantanamo,' a powerful new docudrama, reveals how easy it is for innocent civilians to be swept up -- not to mention cruelly interrogated and tortured -- in America's 'war on terror.' http://www.alternet.org/movies/37940/|
"America did not invent human rights. In a very real sense, it is the other way around.
Human Rights invented America." James Earl Carter
Some useful links: Writing Resources
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|Bias Computers||Poetry Powell's Books||Sentences Syntax|
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click at left. The Writers Harbrace Handbook is a basic guide and
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process. The book is designed for people who want to improve their
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