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No More Torture – No Exceptions


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.

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