Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Colin Powell: a surprising early opponent of "enhanced interrogation"

It might surprise you to learn that, ten years ago, Colin Powell was one of four prominent Republican leaders to take a stand against the Bush Administration's use of "rendition" (the practice of turning detainees who were never formally charged over to a government that would secretly torture them for a confession).

It was exactly ten years ago that Powell spoke out against the use of torture.  That was a time, remember, when Americans were uncertain about what they believed and if those beliefs mean anything anymore.  Let's hope times have changed in the decade since.
I had to applaud Mister Powell, then, but his criticism was extremely late, especially after he'd crawled on his belly for those war criminals, sacrificing his own professional career and his own personal honour to further their agenda.

A strict adherence to all codes of moral behaviour (and, for what little it's worth anymore, the most basic tenets of Christianity) is the most effective anti-terrorism tactic.  Instead, America's leadership presented the people of the targeted countries a choice between two evils.  

We know, now, which evil they chose.

Just for the record; the Democratic Party was extremely weak in opposing both the Iraq invasion and the Bush Administration's use of secret prisons, torture, and the denial of the right of self-defense before a judge.  As an "opposition party," they earn a failing grade.

Powell blasts Bush’s plan for interrogations
Letter comes as president visits Capitol Hill to seek anti-terror support
The Associated Press
Updated: 12:16 p.m. ET Sept. 14, 2006

WASHINGTON - President Bush went to Congress Thursday to lobby divided Republicans to back more power to spy on, imprison and interrogate terrorism suspects, but his visit came as Colin Powell, his former secretary of state, said part of Bush's strategy was misguided.

Powell instead endorsed efforts by three Republican senators [Senators McCain and Lindsey Graham, and one other I cannot now name–CAulds] to block the president’s plan to authorize harsh interrogations of terror suspects.

The latest sign of GOP division over White House security policy came in a letter that Powell sent to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., one of the rebellious lawmakers