In defending his request that the CIA be granted an exemption from the proposed McCain amendment banning the use of torture by American security agencies, President Bush today said that we do not torture terror suspects.
The President's diminishing credibility aside, just apply simple logic here: If we don't torture (and there is no question that we did not do it prior to the 'Gonzalez memo') then why is the administration fighting tooth and nail to prevent the Senate from passing an amendment saying the CIA can't do something the President says they aren't doing anyway?
And why all the coy deceptions then? Why did the Bush administration go so far as to use former Soviet torture camps in eastern Europe to hide the alleged activities that he denies are happening from western eyes? Of course, one has to wonder what the locals in places like Hungary and Romania think about that-- apparently no change from the way the place used to be, just the star is a different color.
And the proposed amendment is hardly a radical plan-- it simply reaffirms that we will abide by the procedures that have been in the army field manual.
As for the argument that has been put forward by proponents of torture, 'look who we're fighting,' I would simply point out that in the nearly century since the United States was a signatory to the Geneva Convention which expressly prohibits the use of torture (and which Zap Albert defined as 'quaint' when he rewrote the rules on torture) we have fought and beaten enemies much more dangerous, deadly and equally as ruthless and fanatical as al-Qaeda, including Nazism, Imperial Japan, and Soviet Communism without the need to change our rules on torture. Are proponents of using it now simply saying that the threat from al-Qaeda is more imminent than the threat we faced from these enemies?