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Dec 3 / Jonathan

A nation of torturers

Torture enablers, at least. Glenn Greenwald:

America’s regression

… Just think about that.  Torture is one of the most universal taboos in the civilized world.  The treaty championed by Ronald Reagan declares that “no exceptional circumstances” can justify it, and requires that every state criminalize it and prosecute those who authorize or engage in it.  But only 25% of Americans agree with Ronald Reagan and this Western consensus that torture is never justifiable.  Worse, 54% of Americans believe torture is “often” or ”sometimes” justified.  When it comes to torture, the vast bulk of the country is now to the “right” (for lack of a better term) of Ronald Reagan, who at least in words (if not in deeds) insisted upon an absolute prohibition on the practice and mandatory prosecution for those responsible.

With these new numbers, it’s virtually impossible to find a country with as high a percentage of torture supporters as the U.S. has.  In Iran, for instance, only 36% believe that torture can be justified in some cases, while 43% believe all torture must be strictly prohibited.  Similarly, 66% of Palestinians, 54% of Egyptians, and over 80% of Western Europeans believe torture is always wrong.  The U.S. has a far lower percentage than all of those nations of individuals who believe that torture should always be prohibited.  At least on the level of the citizenry (as opposed to government), we’re basically the leading torture advocacy state in the world.

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