Contemplating Torture

When U.S. political leaders debate the ethics and efficacy of torture, we need to consider how our country arrived at this chilling moment in our history. We’ve debated the death penalty for years, but despite wars and Red scares and spells of xenophobia, we have never before discussed as a nation the use of torture. Even those who favor the death penalty often oppose deliberately inflicted physical pain, arguing for lethal injection instead of the electric chair, gallows, gas chamber, and firing squad. If our President were willing to talk frankly about it, he might say our nation🔒

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William Nichols serves on the executive committee of American Friends Service Committee, Great Lakes Region. He is retired from Denison University, where he was a teacher and administrator. His essay "Light beyond the War Clouds" appeared in Friends Journal, September 2005. He is at work on a Vietnam-era memoir, Collateral Damage at Fox Creek.

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