WHEN YOU HEAR DICK CHENEY talk about torture, how we do not engage in it, but we need an exemption to do it, you realize Franz Kafka just met George Orwell. Black is white. War is peace. Torture is not used, but we need an exemption for what we don’t do [AP story]
Cheney told his audience the United States doesn’t engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning “cruel, inhuman or degrading” treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.
SO THE PRESIDENT’S PARANOIA would rule and Kafka would laugh sardonically. Torture does produce results. Whether the results are true or not, the future may tell different than a past replete with false confessions, of crimes committed only in the minds of those under extreme duress. JOHN McCAIN’S EXPLICIT anti-torture amendment to a Defense spending bill hangs in the balance, as does world wide moral opinion. We may be moral men, but Bush’s actions brand us an amoral society. American exceptionalism hits a low mark and burrows further into unsolid muck [LA Times]
The provision would reverse the Bush administration's contention that conditions placed on the treatment of prisoners of war in the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights and other international treaties signed by the United States do not apply to foreigners held overseas. The prisoners "can, apparently, be treated inhumanely," McCain said. "This means that America is the only country in the world that asserts a legal right to engage in cruel and inhumane treatment."
SOME TAKE EXCEPTION to the Cheney and Bush. Some will fight for those who are chained and abused. The surprise for Bush must be Republicans now will not follow his lead and call night day, when it so obviously is a shade of evil [NY Times]
"I would hope that no one seeks procedural maneuvers to thwart overwhelming majorities in both chambers," Mr. McCain said. "A bicameral, bipartisan majority in support of this amendment will prevail. Even if the will of the majority is thwarted this month, if it is thwarted next month, it will not be denied indefinitely. If necessary, and I sincerely hope it is not, I and the co-sponsors of this amendment will seek to add it to every piece of important legislation voted on in the Senate until the will of a substantial bipartisan majority in both houses of Congress prevails." Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, also promised to fight lawmakers who tried to delay or scuttle the measure. "I will not entertain a retreat," Mr. Graham said. "I will not entertain an exception that washes away what we've been fighting for."
EXCEPTION HAS BEEN THE RULE for Bush and Cheney these last five years. Everything they asked for in their monstrous battle, they were given, without question. Now questions must be asked about why they would need an exemption for torture they don’t commit. The likelihood is they want an exemption not for what they might do in the future, but more as a cover for what they have already done in the dark.
RECOMMENDED ADDITIONAL READING THE SHORT AND NOT SO SWEET [Body and Soul] In other words, Bush had a tantrum when the Senate told him that he has to obey current law.
THE HERETIK WONDERS when Bush will grow up and consider the rules that apply to others apply to us as well. The world wins no victory over him when he complies with simple morality. How is it that in his defense of evil he casts America as a loser?
A BOMB IS TICKING . . . . [Carol Platt Liebau] An "explicit" ban on torture certainly sounds wonderful -- and those who consider themselves morally superior to the people who are actually dealing with terrorists and trying to protect American lives can preen with abandon. But here's the hypothetical the ban's supporters don't address: If America were threatened with the imminent explosion of a nuclear device, would you support resorting to any measure that might, in fact, provide information about and save lives imperiled by the impending attack?
THE HERETIK LOOKS at his watch and sees this is the latest version the latest exegesis on time running down on the clock. Alan Dershowitz has defended a ticking bomb torture exemption. The ticking bomb scenario is countered by the slippery slope argument. Hell, as The Heretitk has said before, if torture works for terrorists, why not apply it to murderers. And litterers. Or taxi drivers. We live in the age where television is reality for some. Will we get past the Jack Bauer Conundrum?