Look. We have to make a decision. Do we approve of torture or not?
If we approve of torture, then, fine. We’ll have to accept the fact that our men and women will be tortured. And we must give up our right to complain or “officially protest” any torture on an American soldier.
So, which is it? Do we approve of torture, or not?
The feds can’t — just yet — deport Michigan restaurateur Ibrahim Parlak to his native Turkey. But they are frighteningly closer.
And the irony screams out.
On Monday, the same day Eric Holder, President Obama’s attorney general, announced he would appoint a special counsel to investigate whether torture was used by the CIA to extract confessions from foreign suspects, a U.S. appeals court at the behest of the U.S. government ruled that it didn’t have a problem sending Parlak back to the country where he was tortured — imprisoned for 17 months, shocked with electrodes, hung by his arms and sexually violated.
A Turkish Kurd, Parlak was granted political asylum in 1992. It was before our government got cozier with Turkey, before it re-classified some of the Kurdish separatist movement as “terrorist” and before the attacks of Sept. 11. With 9/11, Ibrahim Parlak’s horror began anew.
Suddenly he looked different to the newly created Department of Homeland Security and to the Justice Department’s Immigration courts. Instead of seeing a hard-working, tax-paying Chamber of Commerce member who ran Cafe Gulistan, a small Middle Eastern restaurant in the resort town of Harbert, Mich., the feds now saw an international menace.
So, which is it? Yes, or no? Torture yes, or torture no?