There is no Hell but there is torture. It is constant in the world. Sadly, war is sometimes necessary and war is difficult. Torture is easy to do. Stupid and cruel men are always available and all they need to do torture is permission. In Iraq, the American torturers had the go-ahead from seniors officers who, in turn, had permission from George Bush and Dick Cheney. They made an important mistake - a mistake that led to them becoming war criminals. The mistake was their idea that torture would make America strong when, in fact, it made America look hopelessly weak.
This week, Barack Obama admitted to torture. He said:
We tortured some folks.
Despite Obama’s desire to tell the truth, the words have a quick and casual tone that makes them seem false. No doubt the plan was to sneak away from the moral disaster with a few well-chosen words. But the smell of sulfur lingers.
American politicians love to end their speeches with the words, “God bless America!” To the rest of the world, it seems typically and obnoxiously American. Why would God bless one nation and exclude the rest? And why, especially, would God’s grace be given to torturers? For Obama’s confession to be full and true, he should have said:
We tortured people and, when we did, we lost God’s blessing.