Thursday, August 7, 2008

Bush, Cheney, Torture, War Crimes, and Logic

Andrew Sullivan has gone and done it again -- written a post that every person concerned with quaint notions like human rights and the rule of law should read. Here's a good passage, but don't let it substitute for reading the whole thing:

In fact the entire narrative of the torture regime makes no sense at all unless you assume that the president and vice-president understood beyond any shadow of a doubt they were violating the law, and had such contempt for the law that they simply instructed lawyers to interpret it in ways that are, in retrospect, preposterous, as even a radical advocate of executive power, Jack Goldsmith, immediately recognized And then, using this obscure argument, simply lied to the American people about what they were doing.

Why else Yoo's cockamamie assertions of presidential authority to violate all laws and ignore all treaties? Why else the fantastic secrecy and bureaucratic end-runs? Why else the cover-ups - like actual destruction of critical evidence of torture like the waterboarding tapes? Why else the ludicrous euphemisms?
Torture is a war crime. Bush and Cheney authorized torture. Wishing away the ineluctable conclusion of this syllogism leads to consequences we accept to our enduring shame and inevitable regret. Nothing in mere politics matters as much as recognizing that George W. Bush and Dick Cheney are war criminals, but it seems equally inescapable that mere politics is sparing them. It is beneath disgraceful.

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