Thursday, January 15, 2009

Confirmation Thoughts

As I was watching the confirmation hearing of Attorney General Designate Eric Holder, I was astonished by the amount of time given to and the amount of honesty present in a discussion of torture. Eric Holder finally admits to the Senate Judiciary Committee and to the American people what many of us already knew, that water boarding is torture. Many on the side of water boarding as a legitimate source of information plead that a ticking time bomb situation may exist or that the civil or human rights of such persons we detain should not even be a consideration. First a ticking time bomb situation is illogical. The situation in which the authorities know that a weapon of mass destruction will go off somewhere in America and that there is a detained individual that may have the information necessary to thwart the attack. Mr. Holder said politely that he did not accept the premise which of course he should not. If we knew that much about a potential attack... what kind of attack... that it was in a major metropolitan area... and that some person was involved... then it can be assumed that the amount of intelligence work already conducted on such an individual and his associates would contribute to the amount of information that the authorities actually have. Information from which we might conclude further action and that will be more useful than anything obtained from simulated drowning. The ticking time bomb situation is a popular hypothetical and it will forever be a hypothetical. It is too illogical to be believed. Our intelligence capabilities have improved since 9/11. We will know more about this ticking time bomb than the hypothetical. Thank you Mr. Holder for telling the American people the truth and stating that you and the President-Elect will change interrogation policy. Moreover, to those that persist that such persons detained in the global war on terror do not deserve the consideration of basic rights or due process... remember that the United States should be a better nation than that. By not torturing we uphold the laws of the world we live in and ensure that our people are not tortured. Our actions have consequences. Also what would the people who support water boarding or detention without due process say to those detained who were eventually found innocent of or not involved in any terrorist activity. They have suffered an ordeal on our watch. Think about it. I recommend the film Taxi To The Dark Side which did win the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature last year for all of those who would like to know more on this issue. Yet I remain confident that truth and the rule of law will side with those do not believe in 'enhanced interrogation'.

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