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Thursday, May 7, 2009

What America Do You Believe In?

Andrew Sullivan has another fine post today on official torture practices of the previous administration:
Here is what one FBI agent said he saw at Guantanamo (and God knows what went on there after the FBI walked out of the program):

"On a couple of occasions, I entered interview rooms to find a detainee chained hand and foot in a fetal position to the floor, with no chair, food, or water. Most times they urinated or defecated on themselves, and had been left there for 18-24 hours or more. On one occasion, the air conditioning had been turned down so far and the temperature was so cold in the room, that the barefooted detainee was shaking with cold. . . . On another occasion, the [air conditioner] had been turned off, making the temperature in the unventilated room well over 100 degrees. The detainee was almost unconscious on the floor, with a pile of hair next to him. He had apparently been literally pulling his hair out throughout the night. On another occasion, not only was the temperature unbearably hot, but extremely loud rap music was being played in the room, and had been since the day before, with the detainee chained hand and foot in the fetal position on the tile floor."

If you believe that America cannot survive without doing this to human beings, then what exactly is the America you believe in?

Compare all this with the hysterical reaction of James Dobson to the idea of hate crimes legislation and gay marriage in the clip I posted yesterday.

Sullivan also picked up on the Southern Baptist Convention's statement against torture - my, how convenient of them to take a stand on this, now that the political winds are shifting. Where the hell have they been all these years while Bush & Co. were committing their crimes without a murmur of criticism from the Christian right? Statement by Richard Land, president of the SBC's Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission:

"It violates everything we believe in as a country," Land said, reflecting on the words in the Declaration of Independence: that "all men are created equal" and that "they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights."

"There are some things you should never do to another human being, no matter how horrific the things they have done. If you do so, you demean yourself to their level," he said.

"Civilized countries should err on the side of caution. It does cost us something to play by different rules than our enemies, but it would cost us far more if we played by their rules," Land concluded.

The Southern Baptist Convention is America's largest non-Catholic denomination with more than 16.2 million members in over 44,000 churches nationwide.
What exactly is the America you believe in?

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