What torture says about America

Andrew Sullivan has a pretty stark way of framing an issue. In the case of the policy of using torture against enemy combatants, he compares the United States’ policy as investigated by the Red Cross to that of the Gestapo’s. It’s pretty sobering.

“Bush and Cheney were, in fact, more brutal in their ‘enhanced interrogation’ than the Gestapo was. And note that I am not engaging in the slightest hyperbole here. I’m not saying that the US is Nazi Germany in any way. I am saying that the torture program used by Bush and Cheney follows exactly the specific methods used by the Gestapo. This is not in any historical dispute, although the irony of using the exact same phrase for the exact same methods is one reason the Bushies dropped the term.

We also have a very specific legal precedent. When the US captured officials who had done to prisoners exactly what the last president did, the US prosecuted them, found them guilty and executed them. The price Cheney pays is a fawning interview on CNN.

That’s who we are. That’s what we’ve become.”

Read the full article here with links to the Gestapo document and the Red Cross’ report.

We’ve not covered this question in detail on The Lead since our focus is more on news about the Episcopal Church. But there’s a fundamental moral question here that Sullivan, a Republican, is asking and which deserves some deep thought by people of faith. Some of the churches in Germany were among the strongest supporters of their government in days leading up to World War 2.

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