Tag Archives: torture

Senator Lindsey Graham on torture

From a Wednesday, May 13, 2009 hearing in front of the Senate Subcommittee on Administrative Oversight and the Courts:

I have been on the Armed Services Committee where we did a very thorough investigation of these interrogation techniques and how they came about. The Levin report is a good one. It is there to be read. I will take a back seat to no one about my love for the law and the desire for my Nation to be a noble Nation. The moral high ground in this war is the high ground. It is not a location. The enemy we are fighting, Mr. Chairman, does not have a capital to conquer or a Navy to sing or an Air Force to shoot down. It is an ideological struggle, and the decisions made in the past have had two sides. We did get some good information that made us safer, but we also hurt ourselves. We damaged our reputation, and we did some things that I think were not going to make us safer in the long run if we kept doing them.

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On Humanity

Ralph Peters in the New York Post writes:

WE made one great mistake regarding Guantanamo: No terrorist should have made it that far. All but a handful of those grotesquely romanticized prisoners should have been killed on the battlefield.

The few kept alive for their intelligence value should have been interrogated secretly, then executed.

Terrorists don’t have legal rights or human rights. By committing or abetting acts of terror against the innocent, they place themselves outside of humanity’s borders. They must be hunted as man-killing animals.

I would say that the reverse is true. It is precisely because we show mercy to prisoners and dispense justice fairly that the concept of humanity means anything.  That is why not torturing people means so much. And why we should call extra-legal execution of a prisoner without a fair trial what it is: murder. This outcome might be unpalatable: it is offensive that prisoners can enjoy all life, even in prison, while their victims molder in the ground. But it is none the less important because laws are designed precisely to ensure that punishment is meted justly. Because shooting first and asking questions later is a good way to kill a whole lot of innocent people.

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