President George W. Bush has now appointed as an attorney general a man who has advocated the torture of terrorism suspects.
Recent studies have shown that torture does not elicit true information, the tortured being willing to say anything to stop their pain. Nevertheless, we will now have an attorney general of the United States whose opinions, when he was a presidential advisor, led to the torture of prisoners in Iraq and Cuba.
His appointment will signal to the rest of the world that the United States has abandoned the procedural justice that has characterized our society. Torture is categorically wrong, in any circumstances, contrary to civilized standards of conduct, and for our president to appoint as attorney general a man who advocates torture is another indication that the so-called moral position of his administration is really a semantic marker for the worst kind of ethical behavior.
Robert P. Baker