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If the Evangelical Left had its way, former Vice President Dick Cheney would be forced to wear a scarlet “T” on his chest. The “T” stands for “torture,” of course.
In the wake of Cheney’s unapologetic new memoir, former National Association of Evangelicals’ chief lobbyist Richard Cizik has issued an angry public letter to Cheney declaring: “Shame on you!”
Cizik is mostly upset that Cheney “authorized” the waterboarding of three al-Qaeda operatives involved in 9-11’s mass murder and other global terror. The waterboarding occurred in 2002 and 2003. Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri remain in prison, seemingly alive and healthy, awaiting trials.
Whether or not waterboarding or other enhanced interrogation techniques such as sleep deprivation qualify as “torture” is debated of course. But even accepting the Religious Left’s worst case definition, does the waterboarding of three al Qaeda killers 8 and 9 years ago merit ongoing obsession?
To hear Richard Cizik is to think that the unpleasant initial incarceration of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Abu Zubaydah, and Abd al-Rahim al-Nashiri qualifies among modernity’s worst atrocities. Perhaps more temperate religious minds would understand that there has been other, greater suffering in the world over the last decade that may merit at least as much agitation and grief, much less “shame.”
Cizik lost his long-time job representing National Association of Evangelicals several years ago. He afterwards was rescued by the Open Society Institute of George Soros, whom Cizik hailed as his own “King Cyrus,” the biblical Persian monarch who rescued the Hebrews from captivity. Now Cizik heads the Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good, apparently funded by left-wing philanthropy to help shift traditionally conservative evangelicals leftwards. “Torture” by the U.S., but not by any other government, has been a chief Evangelical Left focus since 9-11.
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