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Friday, March 28, 2008

Blog Against Torture - Not Just Today

No matter how busy I may be, I'm not too busy to say something against the use of torture on the day that Bear reminds me is Blog Against Torture Day. Nor will I forget the subject after the day ends.

An example of why torture is not only evil but also profoundly counter-productive. This is something I wrote, a draft of a newspaper ad, after hearing about the case of Abdallah Higazy. One important thing to remember is that, come to the end of the case, the FBI was more concerned that their mistakes would be covered up than that the job of securing the country would be performed effectively.

The US Government coerced a false confession from an innocent man by threatening to have his family turned over to be tortured by Egyptian security police. Is this what you want your government doing in your name?

Abdallah Higazy was interrogated by the FBI on the basis of information that the Justice Department later admitted was partly incorrect, partly the lies of an informant who has been charged with lying to the FBI. In order to get a confession, Higazy was told his family would be arrested and that the interrogator would “make sure that Egyptian security gives [his] family hell.” Higazy was later released because the original information that led to his arrest was false.

Ask yourself what you would do to protect your own family from a security service with a world-wide reputation for torture and other barbaric practices, a security service that trained many of Saddam Hussein’s torturers. Would you give a false confession, knowing it would probably destroy your own life, if you were told it would keep your family from harm? Abdallah Higazy did. So the FBI obtained a false confession, that they had to know was suspect because of the way it was obtained, and they wasted resources on this case at a time when all of our resources need to be focused on finding and eliminating the terrorists who have caused the US so much harm.

But even more, is threatening a father with the rape and torture of his daughter an act worthy of the United States of America? We believe it is not, that it is an act worthy of Saddam Hussein, the very dictator the US committed military forces to remove from Iraq. Furthermore, we believe it is an act so vile that we want to make clear to the world that we do not condone it and will not allow our names and our honor as citizens to be used to justify it.

We, the undersigned, believe that what the US government does reflects on the honor and integrity of US citizens. As citizens we object to our government committing illegal and immoral acts, and we want other citizens to be aware of what their government is doing so that they too can object. We urge you to take a stand on this issue, to tell your Congressional Representatives and Senators that this kind of behavior is not what America was founded for.