23 June 2009


See also, my original post on
Why Torture is Wrong

From Madeleine Albright’s
The Mighty and the Almighty,
p. 195-197 (2006):
“...Torture may work sometimes but usually it does not. Napoleon, no bleeding heart, observed more than two centuries ago, ‘The barbarous custom of having men beaten who are suspected of having important secrets to reveal must be abolished. It has always been recognized that this way of interrogating men, by putting them to torture, produces nothing worthwhile.’

“As John McCain has argued, this debate is not about what our enemies are like; it is about us. If we rationalize torture or make exceptions for special circumstances, so will everybody else. Governments 
that routinely abuse prisoners will point to the United States for justification. Our standing to insist on the humane treatment of Americans in foreign prisons will be diminished. America will be known as the kind of country that tortures people or that arranges for others to do so. For what purpose? To defeat the terrorists? The effect will be just the opposite. Guantánamo has presumably kept some members of the terrorist class of 2002 out of action, but at the cost of significantly enlarging the class of 2006. The detention center there should have been shut down long ago. As for Abu Ghraib, it was the biggest gift Al Qaeda’s propagandists could have received...
“...In the time since the first photos from Abu Ghraib appeared, pamphlets have circulated in Arab communities showing those shameful images along with pictures of dead Palestinians and Iraqi children... In a region of long memories, I fear these images will be fueling anti-American violence for generations to come."

Madeleine Albright
(1937- )
1st woman U.S. Secretary of State (1997-2001)
20th U.S. Ambassador to the UN (1993-1997)

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