Sunday, February 17, 2008
you can take what you want from me but you're never gonna take my dignity, my dignity:
Read every word of this courageous man's op-ed. Colonel Morris Davis was the chief prosecutor for the military show-trials at Guantanamo Bay before quitting in protest of the potential admissibility of evidence produced by waterboarding.
TWENTY-SEVEN years ago, in the final days of the Iran hostage crisis, the C.I.A.’s Tehran station chief, Tom Ahern, faced his principal interrogator for the last time. The interrogator said the abuse Mr. Ahern had suffered was inconsistent with his own personal values and with the values of Islam and, as if to wipe the slate clean, he offered Mr. Ahern a chance to abuse him just as he had abused the hostages. Mr. Ahern looked the interrogator in the eyes and said, “We don’t do stuff like that.”

Today, Tom Ahern might have to say: “We don’t do stuff like that very often.” Or, “We generally don’t do stuff like that.” That is a shame. Virtues requiring caveats are not virtues. Saying a man is honest is a compliment. Saying a man is “generally” honest or honest “quite often” means he lies. The mistreatment of detainees, like honesty, is all or nothing: We either do stuff like that or we do not. It is in our national interest to restore our reputation for the latter.
How far we've descended when a man's refusal to speak in euphemisms is a singular act of courage. Can we waterboard Joe Lieberman first? Via Abu Muqawama.
--Spencer Ackerman
I appreciate Morris Davis's op-ed and it's nice that he doesn't like torture. BUT he has also been one of the most articulate defenders of Guantanamo and the Bush administration's creation of a separate legal universe for war on terror prisoners. He tried his best to sell GTMO to the Australian media during the David Hicks proceedings (he fancies himself an expert on military PR and wrote a little treatise on the subject in the Air Force's professional jounral, Air and Space Power: ) but all his expertise came to nothing.

What these anti-torture right-wingers need to understand is that one cannot be both anti-torture and pro- Military Commissions Act. The MCA's jurisdiction-stripping language puts GWOT detainees beyond the reach of our courts and therefore makes anti-torture provisions unenforceable. The media pretends that John McCain took a brave stand against torture. In fact, he and Arlen Specter and all the rest of those "good Republicans" sold out on torture when they voted for the MCA with its habeas-stripping component in tact.

PS: Specter said the MCA was unconstitutional, but he voted for it anyway.
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