Wednesday, December 14, 2005

You've got to be kidding me

In a new low for America's image, the administration dodges the anti-torture amendment. The key passage from this story:

Some military officials said the new guidelines could give the impression that the Army was pushing the limits on legal interrogation at the very moment when Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, is involved in intense three-way negotiations with the House and the Bush administration to prohibit the cruel treatment of prisoners.
In a high-level meeting at the Pentagon on Tuesday, some Army and other Pentagon officials raised concerns that Mr. McCain would be furious at what could appear to be a back-door effort to circumvent his intentions.
"This is a stick in McCain's eye," one official said. "It goes right up to the edge. He's not going to be comfortable with this."
Army officials said the manual required interrogators to comply with the Geneva Conventions, which give broad protections to prisoners of war against coercion, threats or harsh treatment of any kind.
But they declined to give examples of specific interrogation techniques that the addendum authorizes, or the conditions for their use, saying they wanted to prevent captives from learning how to thwart them.

So, in short, because Congress is set to pass a standard that criminalizes torture by American soldiers and CIA operatives against captives, and uses the Army field manual that has been the interrogation standard for decades, the administration changes the manual to sneak torture back into the allowed interrogation techniques. It's not just a Vice President for torture, it's the entire lot of them. How can we trust a word they say about not supporting torture when their actions continue to say otherwise, when the evidence continues to pile up from soldiers returning from Iraq, and when secret prisons have been exposed in Europe?

I hate to use the word liars, but damn, what else do you call this? I mean, if we haven't tortured these people, what in the world is torture to the administration? Next, we'll be back to drawing and quartering at this rate, because some people running the country have some idea that torture works, despite all evidence to the contrary. I guess this is why Iraqis have developed new torture chambers: they think they're part of American-style democracy.

Another sad day in our nation's history.


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