I was shocked by reports last week, e.g. Lara Marlowe’s article in the Irish Times, of George W Bush’s admission that he approved of and, indeed, ordered torture. Torture is wrong. Not to be tortured, physically or mentally, is a fundamental human right. When things are totally wrong there is no point trying to compare magnitudes. The magnitudes of the impacts of wrongness may vary or may be immeasurable, but all things that are totally wrong are equally totally wrong.
Unlike me, George W. Bush is a religious man. I believe in love not hate, positivity not negativity, respect not disrespect, fairness not unfairness, justice not injustice, equality not inequality. I believe in freedom of thought, freedom of expression, freedom from oppression, liberty, the security of person, recognition everywhere as a person before the law, effective remedy for those whose human rights are violated—in fact, I believe in all thirty articles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. My personal concept of God is very much identified with good not bad and with right not wrong.
The danger of supporting what is wrong is that there is no knowing where it may lead. I believe that any leader who advocates torture offends not just those who are tortured as a result, but all those they lead.
I have written this blog simply because it is right and feels necessary for me to declare that I believe torture is wrong.