discusses the Democratic agenda on stopping torture in our name and the obstruction from the GOP (Quote is with permission of the author):
"Wanting it clear" means wanting an honest, open debate about what we want interrogators to do in our name. In the course of that debate, those who favor torture would have a chance to make their case. Is it useful in interrogations? Do ticking time bomb scenarios actually occur, and if so, how often? How much actionable intelligence have our "stress positions" and our "Fear Up Harsh" and "Pride and Ego Down" tactics actually yielded? Those who oppose torture would have a chance to ask: do these benefits, if they exist, outweigh the dangers of adopting a policy that seems to invite abuse? Do they create more terrorists than they allow us to capture or thwart? Have they made enemies of people who might have supported us? And are these methods consistent with our values as a nation, and with our noblest aspirations? When both sides had made their case, we could then decide openly what we want to do, and decide it as a nation.
"Wanting it blurry" means wanting to avoid that debate. It means caring less about considering the extremely serious issues at stake and getting them right than about being able to duck the uncomfortable knowledge that debating those issues might force on us. It means caring less about our country, its ideals, and its honor than about our own peace of mind, even when we have reason to think that that peace of mind might be undeserved. It means being willing to let taxi drivers whom we know to be innocent be beaten to death, detainees be sodomized with chemical lightsticks and have lit cigarettes stuck in their ears, and fourteen year olds be "suspended from hooks in the ceiling for hours at a time" while being beaten, in order to preserve the illusion that our own hands are clean.
... the Senate Judiciary Committee held hearings into detention at Guantanamo [Tuesday]. I wrote Senators Arlen Specter (the Chair) and Patrick Leahy (the ranking democrat) to thank them, and to urge them to hold more extensive hearings, so that we can fully debate all the issues raised by Guantanamo and come to considered conclusions.
I [also] wrote to ask my Senators to support S 654, and my Representative to support HR 952. Since none of my elected representatives has signed on as a sponsor of these bills, I asked each of them to do that as well. (If you click the links for each bill, you can find the lists of sponsors.)
S 654 and HR 952 are two similar bills, the first in the Senate and the second in the House. They would ban extraordinary rendition: sending people to other countries where we know they might be tortured: countries like Uzbekistan, Syria, and Egypt.
... What you write is, of course, up to you. But I'd urge you to write something, and to try to get others to do so as well. We all know why it matters.
The Senate and House e-mail addresses.
Just say no to torture.