At the end of last week the White House and dissident Republican Senators apparently worked out a compromise setting limits on trying and torturing detainees in the War on Terror. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) tells the Washington Post that he thinks that the new legislation will rein in the "alternative interrogation procedures" used on detainees somewhat. That's all to the good, but the mere fact that we actually have to have such legislation is disheartening.
In the Sunday Washington Post, Chilean-American writer Ariel Dorfman eloquently decries the use of torture and how it betrays the values that America stands for:
Can't the United States see that when we allow someone to be tortured by our agents, it is not only the victim and the perpetrator who are corrupted, not only the "intelligence" that is contaminated, but also everyone who looked away and said they did not know, everyone who consented tacitly to that outrage so they could sleep a little safer at night, all the citizens who did not march in the streets by the millions to demand the resignation of whoever suggested, even whispered, that torture is inevitable in our day and age, that we must embrace its darkness?
Are we so morally sick, so deaf and dumb and blind, that we do not understand this? Are we so fearful, so in love with our own security and steeped in our own pain, that we are really willing to let people be tortured in the name of America?
Whole Dorfman op/ed here.