Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Alberto Gonzales and the truth about torture

Attorney General Anthony Gonzales won't tell Congress the truth about the firing of US attorneys for political reasons and pressuring a critically ill John Ashcroft to approve domestic spying. Monica Goodling admitted the truth, and so did FBI director Robert Mueller. But Gonzales insists on appearing again and again before Congress, even though nobody believes what he's saying.

Which makes me think of another issue involving Gonzales: torture.

Gonzales has said that if you want to get information out of an unwilling subject, you need to inflict severe pain.

Putting two and two together, it seems that Anthony Gonzales believes that he himself would cave under physical pressure.

But does he understand the Islamic prisoners that the administration is holding captive? I suspect Gonzales, Rumsfeld, Cheny and Bush are all unaware that a deep conviction of the rightness of one's cause can enable a human being to withstand enormous pain. Many people have died while being tortured, refusing to the end to give up their secrets. And many others have said what their interrogators wanted to hear, even though it wasn't true. As John McCain says, torture doesn't work. It only gives the illusion of power to the torturer.

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