When I was a child and first became aware of the atrocities that the Nazi regime had committed, I was very confused.I knew several German neighbors and knew them to be good, kind people.How could a whole nation of seemingly intelligent and moral people commit such acts?My mind tried to find an answer but could never really make sense of it.
Now, many years later, I am afraid that I am beginning to understand.I have seen how a government can begin to erode a whole nation's values and to set up a system that carries out policies that the majority of the people do not agree with, but are powerless to stop. (I have seen) how fear can be used as a hammer to crush the long-standing beliefs and liberties of good people and make them willing to abandon the tenets of their most precious, guiding document -- the Constitution.
A democracy is not destroyed in one abrupt, explosive manner, but rather in small increments that do not seem too alarming at the time.Threaten us enough and we are willing to allow the government to begin to bypass the protections that our forefathers set up.Tell us often enough that extraordinary interrogation is necessary to keep us safe and we are willing to begin to debate the definition of torture.Right now our mealy-mouthed politicians are saying that they cannot truly define torture.I can -- it is something, that if it was done to you, or to your children or to your soldiers and you would consider it torture, then it is torture.Just like the waterboarding that the Japanese did to our soldiers in World War II -- if it was torture then, it still is.And all other civilized nations consider it torture too.And the intelligence community and many military experts (including Colin Powell and John McCain) have spoken out about the ineffectiveness of torture.It only results in unreliable information and opens our soldiers and intelligence officers to retaliation.
The vast majority of the American people want this war to end, but our President does not listen to us.And, unfortunately, it does not seem that Congress has the determination and grit to stand up to him.There is a reason that the Democrats were voted in with such overwhelming numbers and they have not yet delivered on their promises.I encourage them to do the right thing -- even if it will not change the President's stubborn stand to continue with his agenda.He does not compromise with them -- why do they continue to compromise with him?
I implore the Democrats to not let history look back at the United States and wonder how a nation of intelligent and moral people allowed their government to commit such atrocities.We are depending upon you.