Thursday, September 28, 2006

Why Moral Authority Matters

I prefer my blog to be a place to express (semi) original thoughts, not simply regurgitate what someone else has said. But this article by former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky makes the case against torture so well that I have nothing to add.

Best and final quote:

America's leaders want to hunt terrorists while transforming dictatorships into democracies. . . If it isn't stopped, torture will destroy your nation's important strategy to develop democracy in the Middle East. And if you cynically outsource torture to contractors and foreign agents, how can you possibly be surprised if an 18-year-old in the Middle East casts a jaundiced eye toward your reform efforts there?

Finally, think what effect your attitude has on the rest of the world, particularly in the countries where torture is still common, such as Russia, and where its citizens are still trying to combat it. Mr. Putin will be the first to say: "You see, even your vaunted American democracy cannot defend itself without resorting to torture. . . . "

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