Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Where is my America

I was raised to believe that the United States of America stood for certain principals and, while we are not perfect, we strive to stand on high moral ground. Now we learn that our government has authorized torture of suspected terrorists. We allowed our soldiers to act shamefully humiliating Iraqi prisoners and desecrating the prisoners' religious artifacts to gain information. We have sent other suspected terrorists to other countries that freely torture.

Information gathered during torture is highly unreliable. Some would argue that American sanctioned torture may have prevented attacks on Americans. That might even be true. Unfortunately, for every act of torture, for ever time we are willing to put our short term security ahead of human rights, we create dozens of new potential terrorists. We create hatred and loathing of Americans and we justify it. Our long term security rests upon the most powerful military the world has ever seen, a strong economy and a perception that the United States of America acts with principals and a strong moral authority. When we torture, we weaken ourselves.

I look for a candidate that is not only willing to say the following but to uphold these principals when in office:

We are the United States of America.
We hold ourselves, our community and our government to a high standard.
Under no circumstances do we torture anyone.
We do not arrange for other countries or organizations to torture on our behalf.
We do not, through inaction, allow other countries or organizations to torture to suite our needs.
Any interrogation technique that requires debate to justify is torture and, therefore, is intolerable.
Water boarding, nudity, sexual humiliation, desecration of religious artifacts, withholding access to religious materials, sleep deprivation, causing fear of physical pain and non-medical use of chemicals, medicine and/or stimulants are all forms of torture and are not used by the United States of America.

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