Jon Stewart and Cliff May
Many of you know that I am a fan of The Daly Show with Jon Stewart.
I have enjoyed watching Jon as a comedian on the Comedy Networkl for years but lately I have developed an even greater respect for him as an extremely intelligent and decent human being.
Last night his guest was Cliff May, the President of the Foundation for Defense of Democracies, and the subject was torture. Cliff opened the discussion by saying “how are you going to make this funny?” which sparked off a spirited debate that had to be edited for time. The full interview is available on Jon’s website www.thedailyshow.com
Cliff was defending the use of torture for some high level Al Qaeda operatives. He said “it is very carefully done with a doctor present to stop it so it cannot kill them or go over the line”.
A very adamant Jon said that any torture of any kind for any reason is not only un-American it is against the law and against the rules of the Geneva Convention. He went on to say we are no better than the terrorists if we torture prisoners and, therefore, there is no justification for torture on any level
To say that it is okay to cause discomfort or minimal pain goes against everything the United States represents around the world and whether it is right or wrong depending on the alleged results is a baseless argument.
There is a great hue and cry over whether or not President Obama should have released the memos detailing torture from the previous administration but now that they are out there are heated discussions about what should be done now in terms of possible prosecutions.
This will be left to the Attorney General to decide. The point Jon Stewart was making was there is never a justifiable reason for torture no matter what parameters or adjectives you apply to it.
President Obama is working very hard to repair the reputation of the US around the world and is succeeding in this endeavor which will benefit all of us in the long run.
If you have any doubt on this issue of torture ask yourself how you would want your son or daughter treated if they were captured in enemy territory.
So I say hats off to Jon Stewart who is trying in his own way to return us to kinder gentler times.