(Adds photos from TortureATerrorist website)
(CNSNews.com) - Amid the avalanche of criticism for the way the Bush administration has handled suspects captured in the war against terrorism, there is a website that has been using bumper stickers to urge the torture of terrorists.
TortureATerrorist.com sells the bumper stickers to advance its "cause."
"Welcome to Torture a Terrorist ... Stickers For Your Car etc!" reads the website's opening message.
Roger Small, creator of the TortureATerrorist website, declined to comment for this news article, but shortly after Cybercast News Service contacted Small, the website was closed down.
The website's statements were blunt. "We hope you're here because of a like minded attitude ... Bottom line is this ... the sob's want to kill us, so we need to do whatever it takes to stop them cold," it stated. "If hurting more than their feelings will stop them from killing Americans, then whoever is in position to do something about it, has our support."
The bumper stickers include the slogan, Torture A Terrorist with three varying endings: "Torture A Terrorist ... Save Lives!" -- "Torture A Terrorist .... The Life You Save Might Be Your Own!" and "Torture A Terrorist ... Stop A Bombing!"
Joanne Mariner, director of counter-terrorism at the New York City-based Human Rights Watch, blamed President Bush for fostering the kind of attitude present in the TortureATerrorist bumper stickers.
"The president's speech on September 6th kind of encouraged that attitude," Mariner told Cybercast News Service, referring to a presidential address on the creation of military commissions to try suspected terrorists.
"Anyone who knows anything about interrogation knows that torture is not an effective way to get good information," she said. President Bush may not have defended the use of torture with his words, Mariner alleged, but he has done so with his actions.
"We did see in the president's speech that he didn't defend torture explicitly but in practice, that's what he was doing," said Mariner. "I would think that intelligent policy-makers would sort out an appropriate and intelligent response from what is just an angry and completely counterproductive response."
Michael O'Hanlon, senior fellow in foreign policy studies at the Washington, D.C., based Brookings Institution, said he supports the use of some tough tactics with terrorists, but added that those tactics almost never should rise to the category of torture.
"I lean towards thinking it is never acceptable," said O'Hanlon. "Morally, I would not oppose water-boarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed (suspected mastermind of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks against the U.S.) if doing so got him to tell us where the 'ticking bomb' was located. But practically speaking, it may never really work like that.
"As a matter of policy, it is much better to make this sort of thing the extreme exception," O'Hanlon said.
The TortureATerrorist website, O'Hanlon said, does more to harm the reputation of the United States. "The website performs a disservice as we try to convince the world that our values are better and more humane than those we fight," he said.
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