Can This Really Be America?

by James Glaser
January 6, 2003

Sigrid Bachmann of Minneapolis wrote, "I believed that the verdicts at the Nuremberg Trials would teach the world leaders forever respect for decency and fairness. Never would I have thought the very nation that prosecuted the German officials would sink to this level."

America was that country that prosecuted those Germans and with our use of torture as a tool in our war on terrorism, we become the terrorists. There can be no justification for the use of torture by any country for any reason. Torture puts the user in the position of being truly evil, by anyones standard. Evil is what George Bush is making America with his acquiescing to our use of torture in dealing with those captured in our war on terrorism.

Ruth Rendler of the Center for Victims of Torture writes in the January 5th Minneapolis Star Tribune, "Congress has repeatedly passed resolutions and ratified international accords that decry the use of torture, but we have learned that behind layers of razor wire within our borders and in other countries to whom we have "rendered" terrorism suspects, these protections do not apply. With a wink and a nod and a great deal of secrecy, human rights violations reportedly have been confirmed by top U.S. Military and intelligence officials."

Ever since World War 2, the United States has worked to set standards for human rights, the same standards we are violating today. Ms. Rendler goes on to state, "We have statutes that prohibit torture, a constitutional amendment that prohibits cruel and unusual punishment, and international treaties that forbid it. In spite of this strong heritage of opposition to torture we hear from national security officials. "If you don't violate someone's human rights some of the time, you probably aren't doing your job."

On June 20, 2001, the U.S. Congress passed a resolution that stated, "When one individual is tortured the scars inflicted by such horrific treatment are not only found in the victim but in the global system, as the use of torture undermines, debilitates, and erodes the very essence of that system.

When America falls to a level that it will take up the use of torture for any reason, then we have fallen to the level of those that attack us. No longer will America be able to stand up and say that we fight for freedom anyplace on this earth. A nation that claims to believe in justice, but uses torture has no justice and the whole world can see that.

President George Bush is the Commander in Chief of our nation and for President Bush to condone the use of torture as a valid tool, makes America just as wicked and evil as those nations we claim we are trying to bring justice to.

Even though our President fails to see it, millions of people in this world hate our government. They hate many of our foreign policies and have a real problem with our backing of dictators, despots, kings, and tyrants. Now coupled with our foreign policy we have added the use of torture for all the world to see. Just where the hell are we going?

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