Thursday, June 17, 2004


Laura Rozen of War and Piece links to, and quotes extensively from, a column by Anne Applebaum in Tuesday's Washington Post (registration required) on Congress's lack of will to fully investigate to what extent the Pentagon and the White House are bear direct responsibility for the torture of prisoners:

"Indeed, if the voters can't move the politicians, and the politicians aren't courageous enough to act alone, we may wake up one morning and discover that torture has always been legal after all." (Applebaum)

The Durbin Amendment, which reaffirms our commitment to the Geneva Conventions and the illegality of torture, is a nice symbolic gesture, but it won't stop more Abu Ghraibs from happening. What would stop them would be a determination to find and punish the higher-ups responsible (and it's clear that there were some, even if we don't know exactly how high up it went). If this determination is absent, as it obviously is from the White House and appears to be from Congress, then torture is effectively legal.

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