Torture: Always Wrong

Today, Mark Filip, the administration’s nominee to be Michael Mukasey’s deputy, had his confirmation hearing before the Senate Judiciary Committee. And much like his future boss did during his hearing, Filip (like Mukasey, a former federal judge) treaded lightly, seeming deferential while also proving elusive on certain key questions.

Source ~ TPMuckraker

When Sen. Ted Kennedy (D-MA ) asked whether waterboarding is torture, he punted, parroting Mukasey’s answer exactly. Like Mukasey, Filip called the practice “repugnant.” But stopped short, explaining that since Mukasey is conducting a review, he couldn’t “get out in front of him on that question.” He added: “if I am confirmed… I would view it like any other legal question and take a long hard look at it, and if I had a view other than his, I would tell him so.”

Kennedy responded that after what Mukasey went through at his hearing, “We thought you’d be able to give a response.”

Source ~ TPMuckraker

Repugnant.  Well, I suppose that’s one word for it.

Like rape or murder, perhaps, also repugnant.  But illegal or immoral?  Can’t say. Need to “take a long hard look at it” and think about it, and then say.

22Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

Matthew 27:22-23

Let us torture first, and ask questions later.

When Sen. Arlen Specter (R-PA) pushed Filip on the Justice Department’s recent stance that Congress had to sit on its thumbs until the Department finished its probe of the CIA’s destruction of its torture tapes, he got pretty much the same result. To Specter, the issue is clear (see video below) that Congress has “pre-eminence over the Department of Justice on these investigations.”

Specter asked if Filip agreed. He dodged: “I would hope, Senator, that I don’t have to pick between the two.” Some sort of agreement could be worked out with Congress, he said. When Specter tried again, all he got was “I would work very hard to find common ground.”

Source ~ TPMuckraker

Let us look for “common ground.” (Let us ignore those who have been tortured at our hands, let us ignore torture that has been paid for with our money, and done in our names.  Let us look for “common ground” on torture.  To me, there is none.)

But Specter said that he remains optimistic. He spoke with Mukasey the day before, he said, and hoped that conversation was just “the beginning” of more discussions.

Source ~ TPM Muckraker TPMuckraker

“Just the beginning.”

25Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

(Matthew 27:25)

Do not think, even for a nanosecond, that I equate terror suspects with Jesus Christ.  I am a 5th generation New Yorker; my childhood next door neighbor burned to death in the North Tower. Other friends escaped death by serendipity.  I am also a devout Christian — and a proud American — and as such, and as a human being, I am profoundly against torture, in any form.

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

28And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

(Matthew 27:27-31)

There is nothing remotely American, remotely patriotic, remotely debatable about torture.  It is wrong, always; plain and simple. And I am sickened, horrified and disgusted beyond measure that it is even a subject of discussion, in the Congress of the United States of America, in 2007.

Their blood is on us.  All of us.  Until we say NO.  


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  1. Ever.

    • Tigana on December 20, 2007 at 08:49

    no weasels

  2. with McCain!  He has stated that those who’ve served know that

    we can’t come down on the wrong side of torture.  Holy shit!

    This is America – We Do Not Torture – How fucking hard is

    this to understand???  Parsing words just cannot cut it anymore…

  3. for any nation but apparently we think we are the exception as always.

    I find it dubiously astonishing that we should even have to ask anybody  that in a confirmation hearing. The Dems will waffle, huff and puff and it will be over like dust in the wind and we will have another individual with some measure of power who thinks it might be alright for the “bad guys.” My question what happens when the day comes that ordinary Americans not fellas with foreign sounding names get that designation?

    • Tigana on December 20, 2007 at 09:44

    Inasmuch - after Rembrandt - Meher Arar

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