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Premiere of Freezerbox's Commentator of the Week Award

12.16.2005 07:20 | DISPATCHES

The first winner of the Freezerbox Commentator of the Week award goes to former CIA analyst Ray McGovern--long a leading light of the Internet--for his article, "McCain's Defining Moment," on "enhanced interrogation techniques."

I had just been thinking that most Americans don't have a problem with torture. In fact, President Bush may have been 'elected' expressly because of his administration's willingness--okay, eagerness--to fight dirty. We're safer, voters thought, if America drops any pretense of fair play.

Concerns about torture are outdated and trivial in this dangerous age. As far as torture subjecting troops to retaliation, they're perfectly happy to trot out that line that makes the families of troops stationed in Iraq cringe: "They knew what they were signing up for."

I was about to search the Internet for polls when the Wednesday, March 14 edition of Buzzflash linked to McGovern's article. An example of a poll he cited was one by AP in late November--61 percent of Americans surveyed believe torture is justified at least on rare occasions; only 36 percent maintain it's never justifiable.

Meanwhile a couple of quotes that helped McGovern win Freezerbox's prestigious award:

"The post-World War II Nuremberg Tribunal, largely a creature of the United States, declared: 'To initiate a war of aggression. . . is the supreme international crime differing from other war crimes in that it contains within itself [Editor's italics] the accumulated evil of the whole.'"

"It [torture] is not wrong because it is illegal; it is illegal because it is wrong."

And the coup de grace:

"We must not be seduced by the fiction that adherence to our ideals is what stands between our great nation and the security it deserves."


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