11 December 2014
The better angels of the nation's nature have had their say. Now, unfortunately, some of the worst are having theirs. This refreshing display of telling the people the truth, ugly as it may be, is being tainted by all too many Americans of lesser honour. Some justify the torture, some say it shouldn't have been revealed as it may endanger American lives (national security is such a versatile excuse) or simply that it needlessly embarrasses the nation, some even insist it couldn't possibly have happened. The magnitude of these complaints makes it clear that avoiding future descents into the depths will require great vigilance.
The international community has been quick to condemn the U.S. for its abuses, and rightly so. United Nations special rapporteur Ben Emmerson stated that the Americans are obligated to bring those responsible to justice, and that too is correct. The UN should not be too righteous, however, as many of its members use torture, worse torture than the Americans used; they use it more extensively and are using it as we speak. Nonetheless, this is the United States, not Putin's Russia, the guilty should indeed be called to account in a court of law. If they are not, then the lesson will not be properly learned and the United States will not be able to claim it is truly a nation under the rule of law.
Posted by Bill Longstaff at 6:00 pm