Fighting words

By GREG COOK  |  May 29, 2007

Reading these documents is a depressing reminder of how the Bush administration’s inept and corrupt and careless actions have everybody focused on prisoner abuse, attacks on civil liberties, and a misbegotten war in Iraq instead of real terrorist threats and the Afghan war. It’s a question not just of ethics but of effectiveness. During that May 15 Republican-presidential-candidate debate, the interrogation question was also put to Senator John McCain. “When I was in Vietnam,” he answered, “one of the things that sustained us, as we underwent torture ourselves, was the knowledge that if we had our positions reversed and we were the captors, we would not impose that kind of treatment on them. It’s not about the terrorists, it’s about us. It’s about what kind of country we are. And a fact: the more physical pain you inflict on someone, the more they’re going to tell you what they think you want to know.”

‘Jennny Holzer: Archive’ | Barbara Krakow Gallery, 10 Newbury St, Boston | Through June 6

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