9/23/2006

On Torture, Congress, and Culpability


[This was originally written as a comment to this discussion on Making Light, but their commentware seems to be off somewhere sneaking a smoke right now, so I post it here instead]:

PJ Evans wrote:
"We believe that those who authorize torture, under whatever name and in whatever form, those who say that it should be done, those who say that it is permissible in time of war, should be charged with war crimes and tried, under the rules of the international court at the Hague."
This is something I think should be made clear to all members of Congress: Anyone who votes to approve the "compromise" on torture is no longer a silent bystander. They have approved torture, they have endorsed torture, they have enabled torture. They have become accessories to and participants in torture.

They have become... they have declared themselves to be... war criminals.

They are safe... for now. Fortune favors them... for now. Their government will protect them... for now. They are useful to that government... for now.

But times change. Fortunes change. Governments change.

And they should know... they should be reminded, often... that every time, EVERY time, they leave the US, for a "junket" or "fact-finding" or just an ordinary vacation, they will now be running a risk.

Not tomorrow, or next week, or next month. But someday, in some other, braver, country, they will be approached by men in black suits, men with papers and guns and handcuffs, men who will say "Come with us, sir. Quietly."

And then... then we WILL see Americans in the Hague, on trial for their complicity in war crimes.

As they deserve to be.

1 comment:

Henry Troup said...

I thought the pragmatic definition was that war crimes were committed only by the losing side?