When I was in Vietnam so many years ago (artillery) I sometimes wondered what I would do if I thought I was going to be captured. Stories of torture and atrocity were common place and I wondered whether or not I could withstand such things. It never came to that, but there were times I was pretty scared.
I've read the accounts of many who were captured and tortured. While I know the hope of returning to their loved ones and home sustained those brave soldiers, I also know somewhere in their minds they were also comforted and rebelliously sustained knowing they held the high moral ground and that their captors would someday be punished for their crimes.
The Geneva Conventions said all you have to give is name, rank, and serial #. And that's what many did. They paid dearly....but their heads were held high.
As I watched the debate on Mukasey's confirmation Last night on CSPAN and listend to Schumer equivocate and listened to the Republicans praise a man who says he doesn't know if multiple repetitions of artificially induced drowning is torture, I thought...it's over...The United States Senate has formally endorsed torture.
There is no more moral high ground. Through all the searing revelations about Abu Ghraib prison...and the tales of extraordinary renditions and all of it, there was, in my mind, a spark of hope that our elected representatives would rebuke these practices and start us back on the road to once again being a beacon of morality. Not perfect...but at least committed to the just and moral path in the treatment of our fellow human beings.
Last night, The US Senate flushed America down the toilet and invited all the world to the ceremony. And, we gave our enemies carte blanche to treat our loved ones, civilian or military, like pieces of meat if they are captured or taken hostage.
All Republicans present for the vote voted to confirm...no surprise.
Here are the Democrats who voted YEA for Mukasey:
And here are the wimps who chose not to vote:
All I could think of while I watched these folks mill around on the floor of the Senate smiling and laughing while the votes were called, was House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Lantos'(D-CA)recent remarks to the CEO of YAHOO regarding their collaboration in the jailing of Chinese journalists. Lantos angrily said
"While technologically and financially you are giants, morally you are pygmies."
Everyone who voted to confirm Mukasey is just that...a moral pygmy.
And those who chose not to vote...including CLINTON, DODD, OBAMA, BIDEN and McCain (can you believe it)...You're not just moral pygmies, you're gutless moral pygmies. And you want to be OUR president? Take a hike...all of you!
(cross posted at KOS) here