NO TORTURE. NO EXCEPTIONS….General Wes Clark writes about torture and the big picture:
Today, in the struggle to finish off the extremists plotting against us, it won’t be torture and fear that win the day for America. Far from it. Nations that torture end up despised and defeated. No, to win we’ll have to live up to the values we profess, the belief in human rights, equal justice, fair trials, and the rule of law. These ideals are potent weapons. They will give us allies, friends, information, and security — but only if we live them.
We’ve done it before. In the thrust and parry of the cold war, America’s adherence to proper standards and international law won us respect, allies, friends, and, ultimately, the influence that helped bring down the Soviet system. And we can have the same success in our fight today. We just have to make more friends and fewer enemies. And in such a strategy, there’s no place for torture. Or for those who would torture.
Conservatives keep reminding us that the war on terror is not like a conventional war. And they’re right. It’s one in which military force is relatively less important and gaining allies against terrorism is relatively more important. But a nation that tortures will never succeed in gaining those allies. Instead, the pool of jihadist sympathizers will continue growing, and with it the size and lethality of the hard core terrorists themselves. The end result will, eventually, be catastrophic.
The only way to win this war is to turn entire countries against terrorism, and the only way to do that is to live the values we preach and win them to our cause. And that means an end to torture.