Saturday, March 8, 2008

Bush [Hearts] Torture

Once again, our judicially-installed pestilence of a president has stood up for principle:

President Bush said Saturday he vetoed legislation that would ban the CIA from using harsh interrogation methods [sic] such as waterboarding to break suspected terrorists because it would end practices that have prevented attacks. ... "The bill Congress sent me would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror," Bush said in his weekly radio address taped for broadcast Saturday. "So today I vetoed it."
The CNN article goes on to quote Senator Dianne Feinstein as saying "torture is a black mark against the United States ... We will not stop until [the ban] becomes law." Would it were so. As of this writing there are only 317 more days of the Bush-Cheney junta, decreasing the already negligible chances that Bush will be swayed from his mulish adoration of the same "investigative" methods and rationalizations used by the Gestapo and the Khmer Rouge.

It's worth noting that the bill Bush vetoed would have explicitly banned plenty besides waterboarding, including but not limited to:
_hooding prisoners or putting duct tape across their eyes.

_stripping prisoners naked.

_forcing prisoners to perform or mimic sexual acts.

_beating, burning or physically hurting them in other ways.

_subjecting prisoners to hypothermia or mock executions.
To Feinstein's claim, we will have a new president in 318 days, and the three remaining candidates are Senators. This is an excellent opportunity for Senate leaders like Dianne Feinstein and Harry Reid to force these Senators to declare themselves on this question.

Obama and Clinton were not present to vote for the original bill -- they were too busy on the campaign trail exchanging childish swipes about 3am phone calls and media favoritism. More shamefully, McCain voted against the bill. Obama and Clinton need to be heard on this bill, and McCain should be faced with another decision between placating the barbaric swill commonly labeled "the GOP base" and play-acting the "maverick."

Since the Democratic leadership has show little courage or integrity in these "national security" face-offs with Bush, I expect Feinstein will let the matter quietly die, notwithstanding the Churchillian posturing in her "we will not stop" statement. I expect she'll stop all too soon.

I would be delighted to see the Senate Democrats prove me wrong on this. And all Democrats should demand that their leading presidential contenders stand up and be counted on something as fundamental as torture.


Zennalathas said...

Do you think that the Democrats would actually not stand up to the torture crap?

I find it unlikely that they'd just let it go doesn't sit well with their respective images.

Dale said...

Go ahead and place your bets on the spinelessness of the Democrats. It's like betting on the house -- you won't win every hand but you'll come out way ahead over time.