Wednesday, January 05, 2005

SULLIVAN BLOWS A GASKET White House counsel Alberto Gonzales squares off against the Judiciary committee this morning, and Andrew Sullivan isn't looking forward to it:
When Alberto Gonzales says he now backs a recently instituted anti-torture policy, it necessarily implies that he once supported a pro-torture policy. (If he didn't, why the reversal?)

Orwell urged us against the kind of terms favored by torture-justifiers as "coercive interrogation." That's why I've cited just a few of the methods. These methods are evil, counter-productive to the war effort and deeply wounding to the integrity and reputation of the United States and the entire free world.

After Abu Ghraib, you might expect some kind of reckoning. But what's stunning about this president is his complete indifference to these facts. His nomination of Gonzales to attorney general is a de facto statement that he believes that someone who enabled these things needs rewarding, not censuring.

This from a president elected in part on something called "moral values." If "moral values" means indifference to torture, they are literally meaningless.

Where, one wonders, are the Christians in this administration and among its supporters? Where are the theo-conservatives and the pro-life conservatives and Catholic conservatives in protesting the government's sanctioning of murder by torture?

And yes: we have tortured at least five people to death, and possibly two score more. Where are the neoconservatives dedicated to the proposition that there is a central moral difference between us and the enemy? They are busy finding ways to stay silent or support the insupportable.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.