This morning I have yet again been prematurely forced from my comfy bed by my annoying cough. So I’m drinking a cup of tea with honey and reading about torture! A strange way to start the day.
Anyway, I came across a couple of articles, one from the Religion Dispatches and connected links. According to the article, religious leaders in America are taking a stand against the torture and experimentation carried out on detainees of the CIA and US military during the Bush administration. A recent report by Physicians for Human Rights discusses the fact that while trying to safeguard themselves from legal sanctions for torture carried out on suspected terrorists, the Bush administration may have violated a number of national and international laws, such as those put in place to make human experimentation illegal in response to the Holocaust.
This whole issue of the US government torturing suspected terrorists is one that I find so upsetting. No innocent until proven guilty. No concern for human rights. It is amazing to me that certain elements of the American government are supposed to be above both our national laws as well as being above the laws and conventions that the ‘civilized’ world hold to be binding and necessary. I say ‘civilised’ because of course there are regimes in the world who do equally bad or worse things to people, disregarding human rights and dignity. Maybe its just me, but I hold America and its government to a slightly higher moral standard than places like Iran, Zimbabwe, Saudi Arabia, etc.
Something else I find so hypocritical and upsetting about the whole thing is that America is supposed to be this strongly Christian nation, and its so ironic that the Bush administration was a part of the whole religious right in America. Honestly, I have pondered this, but I don’t see how someone can call themselves a Christian and believe it is okay to torture someone, in ways that have left detainees, some who have been released because they are innocent, with serious physical, mental and emotional scarring. That is why we have ‘innocent until proven guilty’, to protect the innocent from such abuses. Even one person’s life destroyed by torture, or by being illegally held in limbo in Guantanamo Bay for years and years, is one too many. And what has all this suffering and cruelty accomplished? Many have said it accomplishes nothing, and even suspected terrorists who revealed important information about future terrorist attacks or whatnot, did so before they were subjected to techniques like waterboarding, etc. These were just done in excess. In my opinion, the only thing torture accomplishes is it makes us all accomplices if we don’t stand up against it. It makes our nation guilty of violating human rights and it negates the idea that America is out there working in the world to spread ‘civilization’ and bring democracy to the poor suffering nations of the world.
Anyway, its food for thought. But I think this might be a bit too deep for 6.00am! I’m off to have a shower and think of happier things. But I recommend checking out these sites: