The current debate about whether torture “works” is deeply troubling to me because it ignores the real question we should be asking: Is the use of torture ever acceptable? My answer is a resounding no.

The use of torture, whether by the United States or some other country, ought to be condemned in every instance, but not because it doesn’t work or even because it keep us “safe,” but because it is immoral and unconstitutional.

The United States should not torture, because torture violates the basic principles of equality and freedom upon which this nation was founded. The Bush administration’s use of torture must be condemned as utterly inconsistent with how Americans ought to act.

Before the Bush administration, America was different from other countries because, as a nation of laws to which even the president has to conform, and in light of our belief  in the equality of all people, we did not torture. Torture is anathematic to these very basic ideas.

We should not let Dick Cheney, or anyone else, muddy the waters on this subject by suggesting that torture is morally acceptable when  it “work” to keep America “safe.” Let us, instead, recommit ourselves to ending it here and in every other country in which it is practiced, because torture is simply wrong — morally, legally, humanely and in every other way.  

Paul F. Macri, Auburn


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