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(conservative) quote of the day

From Andrew Sullivan:

"Some of the rhetoric in Amnesty International's report on U.S. detainment policies is indeed excessive. It is simply wrong on every level to equate the United States' policy of detention, abuse, torture and rendition of terror suspects with the Soviet Union's vast domestic prison system, designed to perpetuate an evil totalitarianism.

But equally, it is now indisputable that a network of secret prisons exists to detain and interrogate terror suspects, that some of those imprisoned are "ghost detainees" with no proper records or accounting, that abuse and torture have occurred in hundreds of cases, that this president signed a memo defining torture into near-non-existence, that there is no secure method for determining the guilt or innocence of the prisoners, and that all of this has decimated America's international reputation.

It is equally indisputable that investigations into these incidents are simply not "fully investigated in a transparent way." Even the most egregious cases of murder, as in Bagram, are sometimes dismissed at first for lack of evidence. Incidents of Koran abuse were deemed "not credible" for a week, until five incidents were confirmed. Many, many other accusations are deemed baseless because the only willing testimony comes from prisoners and no investigation takes place.

Further, military critics of administration policy are often fired; and the message from the top is unmistakable. These are simply facts. To describe criticisms of this policy and record as "absurd" is itself absurd.

It bespeaks either stunning cynicism, or equally stunning denial. And it suggests to me that there will be no resolution to this profound problem coming from the administration itself. They're relying on the general public not to care, or to believe that the ends of preventing terror justify almost any means, including an end to America's proud history of decency toward prisoners in wartime.

That makes it all the more incumbent on the Congress, the media and the part of the public that does love this country's reputation and humaneness to speak out and demand accountability. The odds are long, but we have no choice but to try."
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