Saturday, June 26, 2010

International Day in Support of Victims of Torture

Today is the UN's observance of the International Day in Support of Victims of Torture. I have to say it is embarrassing to me how few of the major U.S. news outlets are recognizing this at all.

The big headline on CNN is that the UN urges Iraq to ratify the convention against torture. The article doesn't even mention what to me is the headline: that UN Secretary General Ban Ki Moon said, "Torture cannot be justified under any circumstances whatsoever, whether during a state of war or in response to terrorism, political instability or any other public emergency.”

I am embarrassed that my country has participated in torture. I am embarrassed that we don't even seem willing to admit it. I am embarrassed that we seem to be willing to continue to participate in torture in the name of emergency circumstances, national security, or the war against terror. Embarrassed, ashamed, and deeply, deeply sorry that we have played any part in torture in this world.

And so I plan to mark the day by writing a letter to President Obama reiterating this point: that torture cannot be justified for any reason. I hope you will consider joining me, and praying for those who have been victims of torture.

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