QUESTION: Mr. President, former Secretary of State Colin Powell says, “The world is beginning to doubt the moral basis of our fight against terrorism.” If a former chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and former secretary of state feels this way, don’t you think that Americans and the rest of the world are beginning to wonder whether you’re following a flawed strategy?
BUSH: If there’s any comparison between the compassion and decency of the American people and the terrorist tactics of extremists, it’s flawed logic.
It’s just — I simply can’t accept that.
It’s unacceptable to think that there’s any kind of comparison between the behavior of the United States of America and the action of Islamic extremists who kill innocent women and children to achieve an objective.
This is saying that the ends justify the means.
I am certain that terrorists use the same warped logic to justify their acts.
Moral reasoning from the time of Moses rejects this.
Murder is murder. If the intent of the murderer is to redress a wrong, the act is still murder.
By justifying torture, the current Federal Administration and its representives lower themselves–and us, the American people–to the slimy level of the suicide bombers, the snipers, the beheaders, the jet crashers.
And, to the extent that we allow this to continue, we lower ourselves to that level.
This country has survived and prospered under the rule of law. Over the two and a half centuries of our history, we have bumbled in fits and starts to creating a more moral and equitable polity. We have, for example, countenanced evil in our society in the form of slavery and racism and then chosen to confront and attempt to expunge that evil.
No, we have not succeeded in expunging evils from our polity, but even in confronting them is virtue.
And now, instead of living under the rule of law, we teeter upon the cliff of living under the law of the ruler.
The current Federal Administration and its sycophants pollute the soul of the United States of America.