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Quad City Times: America shouldn't torture
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ANOTHER VIEW | QUAD CITY TIMES

Quad City Times: America shouldn't torture

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Blinded by fear and emboldened by patriotic fervor, Americans — not Democrats or Republicans — allowed our government to abandon long-held principles that distinguished our nation among others on this earth.

Americans — not Republicans or Democrats — ignored clear precepts of all faiths that revere human life. Americans tolerated our government’s torture, believing these amoral means could somehow be justified by noble ends. We relied on the same excuses always trotted out for moral lapses.

Circumstances required it.

The other guys are doing it.

It works.

Americans didn’t need the Senate report to affirm the extent of torture. We’ve all heard the stories, seen the photos from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib and read about secret prisons, justified somehow through impossibly strained legal opinions.... As the United States and NATO closed their Afghanistan command headquarters recently, and America’s longest war winds down, these blatant lapses might have been forgotten.

Americans needed this report to understand that torture wasn’t the desperate war-time resort of beleaguered troops. It was the planned tactic emanating from our government’s highest levels.

Americans also needed this report to understand that no evidence exists showing the torture — conveniently dubbed “enhanced interrogation techniques” — was effective. The CIA response attempts to justify these means, but ultimately offers no proof that torture produced results.

Even if it did, our government’s concerted torture program meets no other standard of American cultural or faith values.

None.

It can only make sense if Americans are content to be followers, willing to surrender our own standards and adopt the evil tactics of our enemies.We’ve heard critics who say the Senate report plays right into our enemies’ hands. After a decade of U.S.-sponsored torture, another terrorist war rages anew on the same battleground. These American haters are thrilled to see our nation reduced to their level, wallowing in self-delusion that evil is defined by the perpetrator, not the action.

The actions divulged in the Senate report would constitute torture under any flag. We join Americans eager to proclaim: Not ours anymore.

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