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No Wiggle Room

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There's no wiggle room when it comes to methods of interrogation, such as waterboarding, that raise palpable, and unavoidable questions about whether this government will find it in its power to nuance torture such that it becomes what this president has called "enhanced alternate" methods by which to extract information with coercion, and in violation of Geneva and international law. The days of letting glorified yes men, and evaders-in-chief slip through the cracks with a wink and a nod are over. Even if we deny accountability, and culpability, the rest of the world will hold us responsible, if not in our lifetimes than for generations to come.

Especially now that we have a presidential election coming up, one year virtually to the day, it's important to note that traditionally those leaders who break laws, hold people in secret cells, torture, ship people off to be tortured, or finance "terrorist" more often than not suspend elections, and declare martial law, witness the actions of President Musharraf of Pakistan who declared a state of "emergency" today as a pretext for suspending constitutional elections in his country.    Our government considers Musharraf an ally, and has allocated tens of millions of dollars to support his military regime which, ironically, goes to arm and feed the Taliban we are fighting in Afghanistan.    The wars that we fight have no more to do with ideology than most of those we detain in Guantanamo Bay, and secret holding cells in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, have to do with a so-called "war on terror."  We have met the enemy, and it is greed.

Kudos to the senator from Massachusetts, Senator Kennedy, for actively, and eloquently opposing Michael Mukasey's nomination for Attorney General. That Senators Feinstein and Schumer have said they will vote in support of Mukasey is a frightening statement about the kind of America our grandchildren will have to look forward to whether Democrats or Republicans win election, and hold office. No one who supports an ethos that consists of "the ends justifies the means," and the exercise of force over dialogue, deserves to sit in the Oval Office.

Senator Dianne Feinstein has been quoted as saying "First of all, Michael Muckasey is not Alberto Gonzalez."  We can no more afford the lesser of two evils argument than we can afford the one that alleged weapons of mass destruction.

If a former First Lady, Nancy Reagan, could get as much mileage as she did out of the phrase "Just Say No to Drugs," it's time for those who represent all Americans, in Congress, to stand up, once and for all, and "Just Say No to Torture." As Voltaire once said, "Common sense is not so common." Stop the madness; stop it now

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Widely published, poet, playwright, essayist, and screenwriter; member of PEN American Center, and PEN USA. Jayne Lyn Stahl is a Huffington Post blogger.

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stand up and say "Just say No to Torture"... by Ernest on Sunday, Nov 4, 2007 at 8:09:08 AM
I like that. I sent it to my Senators in addition ... by Anton Grambihler on Sunday, Nov 4, 2007 at 5:32:39 PM