Thoughts on Abu Ghraib and the Human Condition

gleaned by Fred Clark

Sen. John McCain (on CNN's Larry King Live on 5.11.04):

… if we, somehow, excuse this behavior on the grounds that they were bad people, they killed Americans, all that kind of stuff, then we put ourselves on the same moral … plane that they are. We cannot do that. The reason why we are there is to give them a different life from the kind of treatment that they got from Saddam Hussein.

… I think we need to do things concretely, and also take symbolic actions as well. One of those would be to take down this prison. It was a notorious Saddam Hussein torture chamber, and it really has significance to the Iraqi people. And now in light of these abuses, I think it would be best to take it down.

…we distinguish ourselves by the way we treat our enemies. And that means we are a nation that doesn't employ those same kinds of torture and mistreatment because we're better than that.

(See www.cnn.com/TRANSCRIPTS/0405/11/lkl.00.html).

Sen. Lindsey Graham: "When you are the good guys, you've got to act like the good guys."

Josh Marshall: "…being the good guys is about what you DO, not who you ARE. That's a truth that the architects of this war, in subtler but I suspect more damaging ways, frequently failed to understand."

(See www.talkingpointsmemo.com/archives/week_2004_05_09.php#002950 )

James: "What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? … Show me your faith apart from your works, and I by my works will show you my faith." (See The Bible, James 2:14-18)

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