I can think of a couple of thoughtful observers of the USA in Russia who really expect a higher standard of behavior from the USA than from other countries. In Russia, I never get into comparisons, and certainly I'm NOT a mouthpiece for the USA. But at the same time, it grieves me when we Americans as a nation betray those who had expected better. What do I say to my friends?
Here's a chance to move things in the right direction. "Repent and believe the good news," says Jesus. We know that the Good News is VERY good, but who can doubt that this is also a season for repentance? Here's what I wrote, through the FCNL facility, to President Obama:
Thank you for releasing the torture memos and for stating unequivocally that the United States will not torture.Thank you!
Please create a nonpartisan, nonvindictive commission of inquiry to investigate how and when deliberately cruel interrogations, including repeated waterboarding, were actually carried out, and by what authority. Is it true, as some charge, that at least one person was tortured simply to get information confirming a link between Al-Qaeda and Iraq, because evidence for that link was politically needed?
I absolutely agree that our main thrust in this difficult period should be the future, not the past. At the same time, the USA should never join the ranks of those countries where public officials can commit criminal acts with impunity. Furthermore, those who tortured "innocently," with motives of pure patriotism, should by virtue of that same patriotism be willing to have their actions examined by fair-minded commissioners of inquiry. We cannot go "into the future" with the essential doctrine of due process under a cloud.