Representative Justin Amash (R-MI) took to Facebook to make a passionate plea for Americans to change their general perceptions of torture. The Congressman is a conservative/libertarian from Grand Rapids, Michigan – he is normally seen as an ally of Congressmen Thomas Massie (R-KY), Paul Broun (R-GA), Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), and former Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX). He is an outspoken critic of the Obama administration’s policy on drone killings and has spoken out against the NSA invasive spying on American citizens in the past.
Here’s what he had to say about the recent Senate report on torture post 9/11/2001.
It’s with a heavy heart that I’ve begun reading the CIA torture report released by the Senate intelligence committee. It documents inhumane acts committed by representatives of our government. Members of our intelligence community have extraordinarily difficult jobs, and the rank-and-file employees serve our country with distinction. It should sadden all of us that a few in the intelligence community have cast a shadow on the important work of so many.
Most troubling for a free country such as ours is the repeated, perhaps systematic deception committed by senior public servants against elected officials who are entrusted with supervising their work. The nature of intelligence work requires certain secrecy, but it is unconscionable for senior appointees to hide essential details of interrogation from Congress and even the president. We have seen before the tendency of some leadership in the intelligence community to obscure their controversial activities in a way that prevents effective oversight. The habit of keeping watchdogs in the dark must end.
The United States remains a beacon of liberty to the world. The horrific acts of a few, committed in secret, are not consistent with our values. But making those acts public and calling those responsible to account can heal our country and reaffirms what’s best about it.
By the way, in case you support using whatever means necessary to keep our nation and our people safe… perhaps President Ronald Reagan can help persuade you that safety at ANY COST is not worth the cost.
Twenty-five years ago, President Ronald Reagan vigorously championed U.S. ratification of the international Convention Against Torture, which he signed on April 18, 1988. Reagan acclaimed it as having marked a significant step in the development of international measures against torture and other inhuman treatment.
“Ratification of the Convention by the United States,” Reagan wrote, “will clearly express United States opposition to torture, an abhorrent practice unfortunately prevalent in the world today.”
Torture should not be morally acceptable to us. Interrogation, sure – but there are lines we should NEVER cross. Even if there are lives at risk… (Just my two cents).