Sully On Torture

The Daily Dish is basically a clearing house for the truth about the Bush torture regime. His coverage has been great. Typical quote:

The Western anathema on torture began as a way to ensure the survival of truth.

And that is the root of the West’s entire legal and constitutional system. Remove a secure way to discover the truth – or create a system that can manufacture it or render it indistinguishable from lies – and the entire system unravels. That’s why in the West suspects are innocent before being found guilty; and that’s why in the West even those captured in wartime have long been accorded protection from forced confessions. Because it creates a world where truth is always the last priority and power is always the first.

This is not a policy difference. It is a foundational element of Western civilization. The way Cheney constructed it, it was not even a mere war-power as we have usually understood it – because the war was defined in ways we haven’t usually understood it. Since the war had no geographical boundaries, since an “enemy combatant” could be an American citizen or resident, since the enemy could never surrender, and since the war could never end, the dictatorial powers, allied with the power to torture, undermined the balance of the American constitution. Until this is fully accounted for and the law-breakers brought to justice, that constitution remains with a massive breach below its waterline. It may not sink immediately; but its fate is sealed unless this precedent is not just moved on from, but erased.

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