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This month Washington Monthly offers a special, theme-oriented issue. The editors write:
In most issues of the Washington Monthly, we favor articles that we hope will launch a debate. In this issue we seek to end one. The unifying message of the articles that follow is, simply, Stop. In the wake of September 11, the United States became a nation that practiced torture. Astonishingly—despite the repudiation of torture by experts and the revelations of Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib—we remain one. As we go to press, President George W. Bush stands poised to veto a measure that would end all use of torture by the United States. His move, we suspect, will provoke only limited outcry. What once was shocking is now ordinary.
Or perhaps we can call it, as the New York Times does, Bush’s “legacy.” They seem to think that it points to the “legacy” of a “powerful president.” I suspect history will see it differently. It points to a man who disrespects the rule of law, his nation’s most fundamental traditions, and is drunk with power. It points to a man who will be known to posterity as the “Torture-President.”
Contributors to this issue include: Bob Barr, Rand Beers, Peter Bergen, Jimmy Carter,
Steve Cheney, Amy Chua, Richard Cizik, Wesley K. Clark, Jack Cloonan, Chris Dodd,
Kenneth M. Duberstein & Richard Armitage, Eric Fair, Carl Ford, Lee F. Gunn, Chuck Hagel, Lee H. Hamilton & Thomas H. Kean, Gary Hart, John Hutson, Claudia Kennedy,
John Kerry, Harold Hongju Koh, Carl Levin, Richard Lugar, Leon E. Panetta, Nancy Pelosi, William J. Perry, Paul R. Pillar, Tim Roemer. John Shattuck, Anne-Marie Slaughter, Theodore C. Sorensen, William H. Taft IV, Thomas G. Wenski, Lawrence B. Wilkerson and Steve Xenakis. Every piece in it is worth reading, and the whole product is a treasure – and another measure of how low the country has sunk.
More from Scott Horton:
No Comment — March 28, 2014, 12:32 pm
On CIA secrecy, torture, and war-making powers
No Comment — November 4, 2013, 5:17 pm
An expert panel concludes that the Pentagon and the CIA ordered physicians to violate the Hippocratic Oath
No Comment — August 12, 2013, 7:55 am
How will the Obama Administration handle Edward Snowden’s case in the long term?
Discussed in this essay:
The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History, by Elizabeth Kolbert. Henry Holt. 352 pages. $28.
The extinction symbol is a spare graphic that began to appear on London walls and sidewalks a couple of years ago. It has since become popular enough as an emblem of protest that people display it at environmental rallies. Others tattoo it on their arms. The symbol consists of two triangles inscribed within a circle, like so:
“The triangles represent an hourglass; the circle represents Earth; the symbol as a whole represents, according to a popular Twitter feed devoted to its dissemination (@extinctsymbol, 19.2K followers), “the rapidly accelerating collapse of global biodiversity” — what scientists refer to alternately as the Holocene extinction, the Anthropocene extinction, and (with somewhat more circumspection) the sixth mass extinction.
Ratio of husbands who say they fell in love with their spouse at first sight to wives who say this:
Mathematicians announced the discovery of the perfect method of cutting a cake.
Indian prime-ministerial contender Narendra Modi, who advertises his bachelorhood as a mark of his incorruptibility, confessed to having a wife.
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Science’s crisis of faith