Monday, May 29, 2006

An Affront To American Values

Albert Mora, recently retired as Navy general counsel, made the following remarks upon receiving a 2006 John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award.

This year's other recipient was John Murtha shown with Caroline Kennedy and Mora.

Mora's remarks were reprinted in the Washington Post.
"[Formal government] documents justifying and authorizing the abusive treatment of detainees [at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and elsewhere] during interrogation were approved and distributed. These authorizations rested on three beliefs: that no law prohibited the application of cruelty; that no law should be adopted that would do so; and that our government could choose to apply the cruelty — or not — as a matter of policy depending on the dictates of perceived military necessity.

The fact that we adopted this policy demonstrates that this war has tested more than our nation's ability to defend itself. It has tested our response to our fears and the measure of our courage. It has tested our commitment to our most fundamental values and our constitutional principles. [Emphasis added.]

In this war, we have come to a crossroads — much as we did in the events that led to Korematsu [the Supreme Court decision allowing the detention of Japanese Americans during World War II]: Will we continue to regard the protection and promotion of human dignity as the essence of our national character and purpose, or will we bargain away human and national dignity in return for an additional possible measure of physical security?
In other words, do we really stand for freedom and human dignity as Bush claims, or do we discard that commitment when we find it inconvenient?

There is a nice article on Albert Mora in the Feb 27, 2006 issue of the New Yorker.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Why do (most) americans think torture and abuse is something US supported in "this" war.?. Like it is something new in US forces/agencies?.