I'm trying to keep this blog about school, and I will be writing about Halloween at school later on today. But once again, one of the presidential candidates has astounded me, and not in a good way.
Rudy Giuliani (and I really believe that if he had just let his NYC mayorship be his swan song, he would be remembered lovingly by America... now he's just starting to make himself look like a...well, a jackass, really) talked about torture. Oh, he's against torture, just like everyone is, but it's all in the semantics.
For example, he's not sure that waterboarding is torture. He says that just because the "liberal media" describes it as such, he isn't sure that they are accurate. Really? If it's not torture, why doesn't he volunteer to try it so he can tell us firsthand how not torturous it is. John McCain points out that Pol Pot used waterboarding during his genocide in Cambodia, and it was also used in the Spanish inquisition. He (McCain) says "It's not a complicated procedure. It is torture." But apparently, the current administration is defining torture as causing death or organ failure. So, psychological torture isn't torture? Really??
McCain makes another excellent point - and he might know this being the only former POW in the group - that people will say anything - not necessarily the truth - to make the torture stop. Not that I know anything about it, but I would imagine that potential terrorists who are willing to die for their cause would somehow be trained to come up with untrue answers under torture. I mean, you'd think they'd think of something, knowing that's a possibility.
Giuliani also says that sleep deprivation is not torture. In fact, he makes fun of it. "They talk about sleep deprivation. I mean, on that theory, I'm getting tortured running for president of the United States. That's plain silly. That's silly." Wow. I can only hope that his mouth continues to get him into trouble before anyone votes for him.
Either the man really doesn't understand the difference between sleep deprivation as torture and sleep deprivation that political candidates (and nursing mothers, truck drivers, etc.) experience and he's a complete fool, or he's making jokes out of torture. Either one is a serious problem. Sleep deprivation was used as torture by the former Soviet Union and by Pinochet's regime in Chile. It's cruel and by the way, it can lead to death. The Nazis discovered that.
The thing I am most confused about is why we are even having this debate! Quite honestly, I'm less concerned about what torture will do to the terrorists as I am concerned about what it will do to us as a nation? How can we possibly justify following in the footsteps of Caligula, Pol Pot, Pinochet, and Stalin? Oh, and the Spanish Inquisition. Lovely people they were. Definitely the model of democracy that we want to use.