Admittedly, at first I was a little unsure of Mr. Panetta as President Elect Obama’s choice to head the CIA. After scouring some background reports on him that uncertainty has subsided by and large. There’s really no need to rehash what so many others have covered regarding his background and appropriateness for the position so instead I will briefly expand on Mr. Panetta’s stance on torture. Thankfully, Mr. Panetta is well documented as being vehemently against torture, something I very much applaud.
“Those who support torture may believe that we can abuse captives in certain select circumstances and still be true to our values. But that is a false compromise. We either believe in the dignity of the individual, the rule of law, and the prohibition of cruel and unusual punishment, or we don’t. There is no middle ground.” – Leon Panetta (Washington Monthly Jan ’08 )
Indeed, it is our very ideals and values that define us. If we were to surrender these ideals to torture, we become no better than the terrorists we profess to fight against. This is perhaps one of the rare instances in which there is no gray area between good and evil. Here’s to hoping that Mr. Obama and Mr. Panetta manage to correct the course of the United States in this regard before its too late.
For more coverage on the Panetta appointment check here.