What I Learned From Mary Aitken
More Thoughts on Our Muslim-Christian Conversation

Torturous Testimony from Muskasy

It happened again last night. In an NPR story on the differences McCain has had with the Republican party, the reporter said that McCain opposed "harsh interrogation techniques" such as waterboarding. When did the entire mainstream media decide to join the Bush administration in making a clear moral line sound like it's negotiable or debatable? McCain is opposed to TORTURE, and that's why he's opposed to waterboarding.

Like the vast majority of Americans, I'm against torture--torture of good people and torture of bad people. I cannot understand how a Christian, someone who strives to be the disciple of a man who was tortured unjustly, could believe otherwise. But I don't think you need a religious reason to be against torture--you can make very clear pragmatic and political arguments against it. Everyone seems to understand this except the Bush administration and its puppet, Attorney General Michael Mukasey.

It doesn't get much worse than this: At a Judiciary Committee hearing yesterday, Senator Kennedy asked Mukasey, "Would waterboarding be torture if it was done to you?" Mukasey responded, "I would feel that it was." How did this become a matter of subjective feelings? Waiting in line at the DMV can feel like torture, but drowning someone IS torture.

Mukasey then continued, "This is an issue on which people of equal intelligence and equal good faith and equal vehemence have differed..." Really? When then let's have the person who is advocating the torture of prisoners stand up and defend it in public. But then again, why defend torture when you can just call it a matter of opinion, an open debate?

The Washington Post editorial board wrote its strongest, clearest editorial on the topic this morning, saying that the Bush administration's policy has done "untold damage to the moral standing of the United States". But they don't just scold Mukasey--they give Congress and every U.S. citizen a charge to end the erosion of our moral capacities by passing legislation that closes any legal loopholes and outlaws all forms of abusive interrogation. I for one am going to write my legislators today to plead with them to do just that.

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