I still don’t know why we in this country tolerated the appointment of someone who in any way condoned, much less worked hard to justify, torture. That he would be forced from office for practicing politics instead underscores the fact that in the war on terror, we lost: we took up the means of terror and joined the moral cesspool of those we originally spoke of opposing. Whether Iraq emerges as a stable secular state or not is not part of the victory conditions for that war; when we took up a moral imperative as our justification we entered what should be seen as a court of equity, and it is how we conducted ourselves that makes the difference on whether we can claim victory or not. Even if the terrorists were somehow able to eradicate the entire USA, had we but maintained our commitment to our principles of justice, that would have been victory on the moral battlefield we selected. Instead, we have cheapened ourselves by choosing morally repugnant means of acting in this “war”, at every turn we chose cheapness and expediency as our guiding principles, discounting human dignity and justice. I include myself in this; I spoke up here about torture before, but did little else. I contributed to our failure by not doing more to impress upon my elected representatives just how strongly I felt about this topic. Complacency is complicity here, folks. Gitmo is my fault, and Abu Ghraib, and all the lives disrupted because we don’t bother to presume innocence anymore, because I knew that our leadership was going down the wrong path and I didn’t do more to stop it.
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