How can anyone believe that it is somehow acceptable to torture in the name of our country? How can anyone think that we, as a supposedly civilized society, should do anything but condemn its use by any of our forces or agents?
Still, there is pressure from the White House and from the Vice-President to weaken language (by excluding overseas clandestine forces not under the Pentagon) in the defense bill, now in negotiations to reconcile differences in the Senate and House versions. The Senate version contains language from Sen. John McCain which would ban the use of "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" against anyone in U. S. government custody no matter where held.
How can we even pretend to lead the world toward freedom and democracy if we don't set the standard for civilized treatment of prisoners? How can we ignore international bans on such practices? How can we condemn such behaviors in other countries and not take steps to make sure that the abuses of Abu Gharib prison are never repeated by American forces or agents?
I urge everyone to contact their Senators and Representatives and urge them to support Sen. McCain's language and to vote against any weakening of it. In particular, you may wish to contact Sen. Stevens of Alaska and Rep. Young of Florida who are leading the negotiations.