Mr. WHITEHOUSE. Mr. President, I wish to now change the subject and
speak about an incident that is not part of anybody's proud heritage
and that is the evidence we have recently heard about America's descent
into torture. I know it is an awkward subject to talk about, an awkward
subject to think about. On the one hand, we, as Americans, love our
country, we hate the violence that has been done to us, and we want
more than anything to protect our people from attacks. On the other
hand, torture is wrong and we have known it and behaved accordingly in
far worse circumstances than now.
When Washington's troops hid in the snows of Valley Forge from a
superior British force bent on their destruction, we did not torture.
When our capital city was occupied and our Capitol burned by troops of
the world's greatest naval power, we did not torture. When Nazi powers
threatened our freedom in one hemisphere and Japanese aircraft
destroyed much of our Pacific fleet in the other, we did not torture.
Indeed, even when Americans took arms against Americans in our bloody
Civil War, we did not torture.