Well I have two weeks left of the semester. And in that time I get to write a number of papers as well as grade the finals of a number of students. And so I need to take a two week break from the blog. But after I get through the hurdle called the end of the semester I'll be back. I thought in this postI'd highlight some articles on an issue which is still shocking.
The Red Cross has accused the Bush administration "of overseeing the intentional physical and psychological torture of prisoners held at Guantanamo Bay." The Pentagon argues that "evidence" secured through torture can be used in determining whether a person can be imprisoned indefintely in Guantanamo Bay. And a military study of prisoner treatment in Afghanistan points to the same problems, including mistreatment, which has been found in Iraq and Guantamo Bay.
The UN released a recent report condemning the justification of "torture, the humiliation of prisoners or violation of international conventions in the guise of fighting terrorism". The new attorney general to be, Alberto Gonzales, was the White House legal counsel who argued that the Geneva Convention can be discarded in terms of interogation of prisoners, declaring some of the provisions as "quaint".
The picture over the last two years is of an administration that knowingly approved the use of torture. There ought to be some form of legal accountability but moral questions are raised as well. What does it matter if Bush has moral clarity when his moral compass tells him torture can be a legitimate tool. What does it matter if he rests on moral absolutes, if those absolutes don't tell him that the torture and humilitiation of other people is a grave moral wrong?