For those of us far removed from the torture cell and battlefield, it is all too easy to be misinformed about intelligence gathering and its efficacy and morality. But to maintain our national integrity, we must all gain clarity on this crucial moral and political issue. Torture is ineffective, illegal and immoral, and it makes us less safe. It must be stopped at all levels.
Even as Israeli lawmakers moved to soften this week’s landmark High Court of Justice ruling banning physical force in the interrogation of suspects, an attorney who brought the case vowed to return to court to challenge any modifications.
“What they are talking of is a law to bypass the ruling of the High Court,” said Allegra Pacheco, who represented the Public Committee Against Torture, one of three organizations and seven Palestinians that brought the case. “I don’t think that would work.
President George W. Bush, who has seemed at times like a PR agent for Natan Sharansky's 2004 book on democracy, is now finding himself under the former Soviet dissident's unblinking eye.
Sharansky, a Knesset member, told The Jewish Week that if reports are true that the United States is holding al-Qaeda suspects in secret prisons in eight countries, it should consider closing those prisons.
"I would say, bring the people here and interrogate them here," he said during a visit here. "Or if you [interrogate them] there, do it under your laws."
Jewish groups may be poised for a major burst of activism on the issue of torture and detainee abuse — an issue that until now has produced what one prominent activist called “shameful” silence from the Jewish community.
The shift was apparent in an interfaith ad in The New York Times on Wednesday arguing that “Torture is a Moral Issue” — a letter signed by the leader of the Conservative movement, as well as a Reform leader who has been an outspoken critic of administration policy on the issue. “
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