Former Vice President Dick Cheney did exactly what everyone expected him to do. On Sunday morning, appearing on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Cheney aggressively defended the CIA’s harsh interrogation techniques.
“Torture to me is an American citizen on his cell phone making a last call to his four young daughters shortly before he burns to death in the upper levels of the [World Trade Center] on 9/11,” Cheney said.
“There’s this notion that there’s moral equivalence between what the terrorists did and what we do and that’s absolutely not true. We were very careful to stop short of torture. I’d do it again in a minute,” he explained.
Though horrific, the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 don’t justify waterboarding.
“No justification of torture – including terrorism – is ever permitted. Indeed, torture and terrorism follow the same logic.,” said Karima Bennoune, professor of international law at the University of California-Davis School of Law. “We must continue to staunchly oppose both. Security proponents must not justify violations of human rights, and human rights advocates must not minimize the reality of the threat to human rights from terrorism.”
Despite what Cheney says and believes, torture, or “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques,” hurt our foreign policy and make us less safe.
Bennoune said that the United States has to be held accountable for its actions:
“What we have learned is that the CIA torture program was even worse than previously understood – in scope, in the nature of detainee treatment, among other points. The report’s release is important, but is only a first step. The United States is a state party to the UN Convention against Torture, and alleged perpetrators of torture must be brought to justice. The US cannot publicly admit to torture, and then take no legal action. This is simply not an option.”
Terrorists like Osama Bin Laden and members of ISIS want the United States to use oppressive acts — they want us to torture and kill innocent people.
Because then recruiting for them is a breeze.
Ronald Reagan was against torture and vigorously championed the United States’ ratification of the international Convention Against Torture, which he signed on April 18, 1988. Reagan said that it marked a significant step in the development of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment.
Ronald Reagan wrote, “Ratification of the Convention by the United States, will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately prevalent in the world today.”
According to a Pew Research poll, the American public think the government was justified in its interrogation techniques, though some say no credible information was gathered.
Fifty-one percent of the public says they think the CIA methods were justified, compared with just 29 percent who say they were not justified; 20 percent do not express an opinion.
The new national survey by the Pew Research Center, conducted Dec. 11-14 among 1,001 adults, finds that amid competing claims over the effectiveness of CIA interrogation methods, 56 percent believe they provided intelligence that helped prevent terrorist attacks, while just half as many (28 percent) say they did not provide this type of intelligence.
Have neoconservatives with the aid of the mainstream media convinced the American public that torture can be justified?
President Barack Obama said that once he was elected he had stopped all of the questionable interrogation tactics. But, Obama supports drone strikes, which have included some deadly mistakes, such as the killing of innocent civilians.
But is this how America will be known now? By our torture. Or drone strikes?
Jack Hunter from Rare.com asked a great question in his recent article, Americans who defend torture sound like Osama Bin Laden.
He asked, “When you become like your enemies, what makes you better than them?”
Yes, torture is ineffective and produces bad results despite what Cheney and the mainstream media claim. But the argument against torture shouldn’t be because it produces bad results.
There are universal truths that should guide our moral compass. No matter who you are or what you have done, human rights still matter, and certain things are right or wrong. Torture is wrong in every situation regardless of the consequence.