Tuesday, July 29, 2008

A Torture Paper Trail

I've always liked Eugene Robinson. Not only is he a Washington Post columist and MSNBC talking head, he's a native of Orangeburg, SC.

When other talking heads turn to shouting, he keeps his cool. I like his style.

He begins his piece in the Washington Post today like this:

I still find it hard to believe that George W. Bush, to his eternal shame and our nation's great discredit, made torture a matter of hair-splitting, legalistic debate at the highest levels of the U.S. government. But that's precisely what he did.

He finishes like so:

Barack Obama has stood consistently against torture. John McCain, who was tortured himself as a prisoner of war in North Vietnam, has denounced torture as well -- and, although he voted against restraining the CIA with the same no-exceptions policy that now applies to military interrogators, he has been forthright in saying that waterboarding is torture, and thus illegal. On Inauguration Day, whoever wins the presidency, this awful interlude will end.

A clear and urgent duty of the next president will be to investigate the Bush administration's torture policy and give Americans a full accounting of what was done in our name. It's astounding that we need some kind of truth commission in the United States of America, but we do. Only when we learn the full story of what happened will we be able to confidently promise, to ourselves and to a world that looks to this country for moral leadership: Never again.

read more digg story

The way we treat our fellow human being, enemy or friend, reflects the true core of our soul.

Did not Jesus teach us in Matthew 5:

43 "You have heard that it was said, Love your neighbor and hate your enemy. 44 But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father in heaven. For He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. 46 For if you love those who love you, what reward will you have? Don't even the tax collectors do the same? 47 And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing out of the ordinary? Don't even the Gentiles do the same?

These words were given not for intellectual, theological discourse, but for a guide for how we are to view our enemy. Our enemy is a human being, just like us, who's sin can cause us harm and cause us to fear. Jesus knew that our sinful nature causes us to mirror the sin of our enemy so he calls on us to be and do exactly the opposite.

Our country tortures the enemy. We have become what we say we abhor.

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