Torture Betrays Us and Breeds New Enemies

Charles C. Krulak was commandant of the Marine Corps from 1995 to 1999. Joseph P. Hoar was commander in chief of U.S. Central Command from 1991 to 1994. I have borrowed the title from their WaPo oped which expresses a serious problem with something that occurred during the GOP Presidential debate in South Carolina:

The American people are understandably fearful about another attack like the one we sustained on Sept. 11, 2001. But it is the duty of the commander in chief to lead the country away from the grip of fear, not into its grasp. Regrettably, at Tuesday night’s presidential debate in South Carolina, several Republican candidates revealed a stunning failure to understand this most basic obligation.

I could list several reasons why neither Mitt Romney nor Rudy Giuliani is fit to be the next President of our nation. These two former generals do an admirable job of detailing one of them.

Update: AB reader ilsm alerts us to this AP story:

The 2008 presidential campaign is long on war rhetoric and short on warriors. Despite the high-profile roles of the battle against terrorism and conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan in the presidential campaign, few of the candidates can claim military experience on their resumes. Of the top tier of 2008 candidates, only Republican John McCain has been to war … Draft deferments kept Giuliani, 62, of out Vietnam while he attended law school. In 1968, as the Vietnam War was escalating, he was classified 1-A, or draft eligible. After going to work for a federal judge, he received an occupational deferment. He was classified 1-A again in 1970, but had a high lottery number. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 60, received a draft deferment while serving as a Mormon missionary in France during the war. He was eligible for the draft later, but was not selected.

So our two pro-torture GOP leading candidates can be seen as chicken hawks. Not that I would necessarily vote for him – but isn’t it high time Senator Hagel toss his hand into the ring? I’m elated that Ron Paul has the courage of conviction to criticize the Iraq War but it’s too damn easy for Rudy Giuliani to go after Mr. Paul with that faux macho garbage that Rudy is known for – especially when the audience in South Carolina whoops it up in response.

Now if Chuck Hagel were on stage criticizing this war – would the chicken hawks be so willing to go after someone who did bother to serve in the Vietnam War? Or did I just forget about those Swift Boat liars back in 2004? How sick has the modern Republican Party become?