Monday, November 07, 2005

In justifying torture, Bush's first victim is logic.

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?

9 comments:

Mark said...

Its in the definition of torture. What McCain calls torture, Bush doensn't. Therefore the need for the exemption.

This is one area that McCain is strong, having been a victim of real torture at the hands of the North Vietnamese. I would trust him on this issue.

McCain is positioning himself to be a strong candidate for 08.

dorsano said...

Whether or not he's planning to run in 2008, McCain deserves credit for his dogged, unflinching persistence on this issue - I hope he keeps it up.

NYC said...

Hello to all,
Remember the whole gulag comparison a while back? The administration's official response was played off as one of shock and outrage at such a thing being suggested.

Now, we hear about one of many secret places our government has that is in Eatern Europe, and is a leftover from the days of the former Soviet Union.

Hmmm... let's see how this adds up:

1)Eastern Europe location
2)Former Soviet Union
3)Leftover detention camp

Sure sounds like a gulag to me.

I think McCain lost all credibility when he was smooching and hugging GWB during his endorsement from the last election. As a former serviceman from the Vietnam era, he owed it to the servicemen of today to take their needs into consideration, but didn't. McCain's attempt to position himself above all that is going on, is too little too late in my opinion. Sounds more like he's just attempting to promote his own political career for senate re-election and in the time after the Bush administration runs it's course, in sort of a "see what they did, but see what I did" move.

dorsano said...

I was more disappointed with his support for privatizing social security than I was for his hugging Bush - that picture will speak for itself

especially since he's argued for giving Medicare the authority to negotiate volume discounts on perscriptions drugs.

dorsano said...

Jeanne at Body and Soul is Wondering Out Loud.

Eli Blake said...

mark,

The McCain bill is pretty explicit, referring our interrogators back to the army field manual, which served as the standard for decades.

Anonymous said...

In justifying torture, Bush's first victim is logic.

Pretty much sums it up, Eli.

Barbi said...

oop...don't know what I did wrong (again), but I was the nonny mouse at 17:11. Sorry.

dorsano said...

In justifying torture, Bush's first victim is logic.

I agree with Barbi, that's a well crafted title.