Sunday, September 24, 2006

Torture, by any other name, is still torture

Front paged at Booman Tribune and ePluribus Media

George W. Bush - 9/21/06 "the singlemost potent tool we have in protecting America"

It's still torture.

Congressman Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) - 9/21/06 "intelligence agencies should be given latitude to use "the methods necessary" to get information from detainees."

It's still torture.

Senator John McCain - 9/22/06 "But it's very important that we have this tool to collect intelligence."

It's still torture.

How low, as a country, have we sunk? Since when have we needed to "clarify the line" between what is considered torture and what is not? How can it be that our elected officials are now parsing words and splitting hairs to decide just how much beating, how much "cruel and inhumane treatment", just what wouldn't fall under "outrages upon human dignity"?

Has this country lost it's collective mind? This is "spreading freedom and democracy"? This is "bringing a message of peace"? This is keeping us safer? And tell me how dangerous these detainees are? As for all of the great and credible information that is gotten through these "alternative interrogation methods":

Dan Froomklin, 9/22/06: What little investigative reporting I've seen on the program thus far, by Ron Suskind among others, suggests that Bush's assertion is exaggerated or just plain wrong -- and that in fact the use of torture or near-torture has produced little or no valuable information. It's imperative that the media give the public a better sense of whether Bush is credible on this issue.

Excuse me, but What The Fuck?

Here's a thought - if you don't know whether it would legally be considered to be "torture", then there's a pretty damn good chance that is it torture. It doesn't matter what other name you call it. It doesn't matter that you only do it a little bit, or to only the "really bad people". It doesn't matter how you justify it to yourself, or whether it should be legal, even if it "technically" isn't.

Senator Richard Grassley - 9/21/06 "We don't have to draw a line against torture because America doesn't torture prisoners," he said. "The courts have said what we've been doing is only unlawful because Congress hasn't given the president authority to do it."

Um, Senator - do you realize that you just said that what "we've been doing is unlawful"? And not just by that pesky United Nations or that communist Red Cross. This is the Supreme Court, who if I can remind you - has seven of nine members appointed by Republican presidents. Let me say that once more for you -

You admitted that the United States is breaking the law with respect to torturing detainees

Dammit. This isn't "24". There is no friggin Jack Bauer to always save the day by "almost torturing" the bad guys. This is real life. With real people. Many of whom are innocent and will never be charged. And for those that are "guilty" of whatever it is that they may be guilty of (in addition to those many other things that you "say they are guilty of" but can't tell anyone why or what), it is still breaking the law.

What the hell kind of example do we set for the world? What other developed or civilized (or even many uncivilized) societies and countries have national debates about how much torture is ok? How much can we hurt someone before it breaks international law? And why are so many people so willing to let anyone that has already tortured, er, "questioned with alternative interrogation tactics" off the hook for the torture they already authorized.

Are we that barbaric? Are we that stupid? Are we that scared? Are you fucking kidding me?????

It's still torture.

And it doesn't work.

And it's illegal.

And you admitted to doing it.

In our name.

How dare you.

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