Paul Craig Roberts was Assistant Secretary of the Treasury in the Reagan administration. He is coauthor of The Tyranny of Good Intentions. He can be reached at: PaulCraigRoberts@yahoo.com
From: Lew Rockwell
Torture is a violation of US and international law. Yet, president George W. Bush and vice president Dick Cheney, on the basis of legally incompetent memos prepared by Justice Department officials, gave the OK to interrogators to violate US and international law.
The new Obama administration shows no inclination to uphold the rule of law by prosecuting those who abused their offices and broke the law.
Cheney claims, absurdly, that torture was necessary in order to save American cities from nuclear weapons in the hands of terrorists. Many Americans have bought the argument that torture is morally justified in order to make terrorists reveal where ticking nuclear bombs are before they explode.
However, there were no hidden ticking nuclear bombs. Hypothetical scenarios were used to justify torture for other purposes.
We now know that the reason the Bush regime tortured its captives was to coerce false testimony that linked Iraq and Saddam Hussein to al Qaeda and September 11. Without this “evidence,” the US invasion of Iraq remains a war crime under the Nuremberg standard.
Torture, then, was a second Bush regime crime used to produce an alibi for the illegal and unprovoked US invasion of Iraq.
U.S. Representative Ron Paul (R, Tx) understands the danger to Americans of permitting government to violate the law. In “Torturing the Rule of Law,” he said that the US government’s use of torture to produce excuses for illegal actions is the most radicalizing force at work today. “The fact that our government engages in evil behavior under the auspices of the American people is what poses the greatest threat to the American people, and it must not be allowed to stand.”
One might think that the American public’s toleration of torture reflects the breakdown of the country’s Christian faith. Alas, a recent poll released by the Pew Forum reveals that most white Christian evangelicals and white Catholics condone torture. In contrast, only a minority of those who seldom or never attend church services condone torture.
It is a known fact that torture produces unreliable information. The only purpose of torture is to produce false confessions. The fact that a majority of American Christians condone torture enabled the Bush regime’s efforts to legalize torture.
George Hunsinger, professor at Princeton Theological Seminary, has stepped into the Christian void with a powerful book, Torture is a Moral Issue.