Saturday, December 17, 2005

Ban Torture. Period. - New York Times

It should have been unmitigated good news when President Bush finally announced yesterday that he would back Senator John McCain's proposal to ban torture and "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment at United States prison camps. Nothing should be more obvious for an American president than to support a ban on torture.

But this is the president who scrapped the rules on the decent treatment of prisoners in the first place and whose lawyers concocted memos on legalizing torture. On closer inspection, the feeling of relief faded fast.

Mr. McCain's amendment is attached to a malignant measure - introduced by Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, and now co-sponsored by Senator Carl Levin of Michigan, the top Democrat on the Senate Armed Services Committee - that would do grievous harm to the rule that the government cannot just lock you up without showing cause to a court. This fundamental principle of democratic justice must not be watered down so the Bush administration does not have to answer for the illegal detentions of hundreds of men at Guantánamo Bay and other prison camps.

Mr. Graham's original measure would at least have barred the use of coerced confessions from prisoners like those at Guantánamo. But the current version actually appears to allow coerced evidence. Lawmakers were also discussing language that would strip United States courts, including the Supreme Court, of the power to review detentions. Bruce Ackerman, a professor of law at Yale University, said that Congress had not attacked the courts in this fashion since Reconstruction.

George W Bush has nothing but contempt for the law. Maybe that has to do with the run-ins he had with the law in his "younger, more irresponsible youth."
Remember, this is the administration of projection, double-speak and painful, twisted dissonance.
I am Uniter, not a divider
Wanted: Dead or alive; Tora Bora and where the hell is Osama?
Bush says he really doesn't give Osama much thought anymore. Mullah Who?
Bush says, I have been getting' fabulous intelligence! Our intelligence people are doing a heckuva job. (Good-bye George Tenet; hello Medal of freedom.) Did we mention 9/11 and the cooked Intel that led to a criminal war?
The list goes on and on; sure the reader has a few choice examples of his or her own.
Feel free!


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