(not that WSJ) From the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal
America's rejection of torture as a tool of law enforcement and military strategy is one of the many ways we distinguish ourselves from our enemies.
That is why the nation should thank dissident Republican senators for last week convincing President Bush to abandon his attempt to permit torture in the war against terrorism.
If you are going to accuse the President of advocating torture you might want to note when he ever did so. That is an inflammatory statement and the WSJ offers no explanation. The President asked Congress to enact legislation ensuring that the use of coercive interrogation techniques up to and including waterboarding were not considered grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
The president's allies, including Wisconsin Republican Rep. James Sensenbrenner, should now drop their support of legislation allowing torture, and Congress' final product should make it clear that the United States will not employ torture.
Not now. Not ever.
What noble rhetoric, it must have made their pride swell to take the strong moral position of condemning torture. Especially as they prove they are a true centrist, moderate publication, by castigating the President for a straw man claim that he advocated torture, one they conspicuously fail to identify. I will assume that they object to the coercive techniques including the belly slap and waterboarding. The problem is in identifying these as torture. If these constitute torture, then the US Congress has funded and every administration since the Vietnam War has conducted torture on US citizens. Impossible you say, well Congress approves the military budget and the very same techniques the WSJ uses to smear the president as a torturer are routinely applied to US military personnel. Now how can something the US Congress has approved for 40 years suddenly become torture when, instead of doing it to our own people, we use it on Khalid "Sheik Sheikh Sheikh" Mohammed?
I emailed the members of the WSJ editorial board with a link to my piece and asked them for space on the editorial page to retort. I will advise as to their response. The editor's name is Ellen Foley and her email is efoleyATmadison.com, if you have a connection to Wisconsin or just want to communicate displeasure please be reasonably polite. The WSJ is supposed to be our right of center or at least moderate paper in town with the Capital Times handling the Progressive propaganda, kinda sad to see them mouthing lefty talking points.