If we were to become a fundamentalist police state that deployed torture at home and abroad against Muslim threats, the war would already be over, and al Qaeda would have won. We fight for certain profound and enduring principles – of freedom of religion and conscience and the inviolable dignity of the individual human being. We cannot defend those principles if we trash them at the same time.
I, like many Americans, largely ignored the discussion on torture in the so-called “war on terror.” I figured the election of Obama would lead to a significant policy and action change.
Sadly, that has not come to pass. We continue to use detention and are haunted by the neocons and neofascists that believe torture and suspension of habeus corpus are the right answers to the asymmetric threat of terrorism. More than haunted, they continue to drive the debate and have gotten Obama to compromise his way into a moral corner from which he seems unable to remove himself — or our nation.
Keep reading Andrew Sullivan. He reminds us of our best principles and admonishes those in Washington and beyond that would have us give up our freedoms in the name of a war that cannot be won by militaristic means.