Of course, the United States is not the only country that uses torture. It is endemic in the Russian penal system, and in China's; both the largest country in the world and the most populous torture their own citizens. But the conduct of the US is the saddest case of a nation corrupted, because it is no longer that "shining city on a hill" that once represented a standard for the world to emulate; and because it is the US leadership itself that has seen fit to depart so radically from America's core values.
On the evidence provided by Andy Worthington and the other authoritative books referred to here, the judgment has to be that the US over-reacted to the events of 9/11. Quite apart from the perverse decision to go to war in Iraq, what other verdict could there be, considering its adoption of torture as a method of punishment, and torture as a technique for the gathering of faulty intelligence?
Saturday, March 01, 2008
Torturing the Innocent
Although one wonders whether the presence of the Guantánamo Bay Prison did not, in fact, deter other 9/11s that might have occurred in its absence, the points raised by Jeremy Putley in his Online Review discussion of the issues do give one pause for thought. In particular, one remembers Bush's endorsement of Putin...