Torture Has No Place in ‘Shining City on a Hill’: NRC Handelsblad, The Netherlands
From The Netherlands, where in 1620 the Pilgrims embarked on their voyage to the New World, comes a reminder of this nation’s roots in a rather strong editorial indicting the use of torture in the United States.
The editorial board of the NRC Handelsblad writes in part:
“The core of the constitutional state – the shining city on a hill that the U.S. wants to protect, has in fact been undermined. … During the Korean War, American soldiers were victims of the kind of practices that were given legal cover by the 2002 memos. The Eisenhower government examined the practice and came to two conclusions: that these techniques are a form of torture; and that they are useless.”
“Connoisseurs of witch trials, the Inquisition and Stalin’s show trials could have told Bush the same. That the U.S. was receptive to a dictatorial regime with totalitarian traits is illustrated by the ease with which these memos were accepted. In Congress, they were never really questioned. … Perhaps somewhere in that city upon a hill, there is a judge who holds a different view than Obama on the principle that everyone is equal under the law.”
Translated By Meta Mertens
May 2, 2009
The Netherlands – NRC Handelsblad – Original Article (Dutch)
The most difficult decision President Obama has had to make so far has not been about the future, but the past. Recently, he released still-secret memos produced in 2002 on the interrogation methods being used in the “war on terror.”
“Enhanced interrogation techniques,” as one Orwellian Justice Department official labeled them, are now passé. But Obama doesn’t want to put the perpetrators on trial. “We must look ahead,” he said. But that can only occur by looking back. By practicing torture, America has tied itself in knots. It demands an exception in its battle against “evil” after ignoring the absolute prohibition on torture. The core of the constitutional state – the shining city on a hill that the U.S. wants to protect, has in fact been undermined.
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