A dissident

A former Soviet dissident, Vladimir Bukovsky, now living in England, cannot believe that there is even a debate whether or not to torture in a civilized democracy. In this article, he gives the best arguments yet why torture should not be allowed.

If anything bothers me more than the fact that my taxpayer dollars are going for torture, it is the fact that so very few people in this country are outraged. Have people been convinced that these people, some of whom have been innocent of wrongdoing, are so completely "the other" that they don't deserve human treatment? Can't they see themselves in this situation?

How long is it going to take to reestablish the reputation for decency America and its soldiers had during World War II? I am worried it is gone forever.

Bukovsky also makes the point that not only will there be a spate of lawsuits from those held in detention without cause, but there could be lawsuits from those who were asked to do the torture. Bukovsky knows from his 12 years in Soviet prisons that torturing ruins the torturer as surely as it ruins the tortured.

One more point: Where are America's religious leaders on this point? As far as I am concerned, a religion which allows its adherents to look the other way while their government engages in torture is a sham, especially if it is a religious organization which makes a habit of being involved in completely ridiculous public policy debates such as gay marriage. What sort of morality spawns such a perverse sense of priorities?