Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Bush the Torturer in Chief

Eugene Robinson speaks for me here in his eloquent denunciation of the human disgrace that is George W. Bush:
It's past time to stop mincing words. The Decider, or maybe we should now call him the Inquisitor, sticks to anodyne euphemisms. He speaks of "alternative" questioning techniques, and his umbrella term for the whole shop of horrors is "the program." Of course, he won't fully detail the methods that were used in the secret CIA prisons - and who knows where else? - but various sources have said they have included not just the infamous "waterboarding," which the administration apparently will reluctantly forswear, but also sleep deprivation, exposure to cold, bombardment with ear-splitting noise and other assaults that cause not just mental duress but physical agony. That is torture, and to call it anything else is a lie.

It is not possible for our elected representatives to hold any sort of honorable "debate" over torture. Bush says he is waging a "struggle for civilization," but civilized nations do not debate slavery or genocide, and they don't debate torture, either. This spectacle insults and dishonors every American.
It makes me almost physically ill that Bush is advocating and defending methods that were used by the Soviet secret police under Stalin. Some courageous Republican senators have denounced these policies, but remember: The Republicans in Congress are overwhelmingly in support of Bush and the Democrats in Congress are overwhelmingly opposed. Don't let a few decent Republicans stop you from doing what you need to do on November 7: vote the Republican bastards out and cripple this hideous program that violates every tenet of our heritage as a nation.


paul c said...

I'm glad you brought this topic up, because I've been trying to puzzle it out. What I don't understand is how so many people - otherwise honorable and compassionate people (and I mean regular people here, not politicos) - can sign on for this. I mean, even if you're happy with the war and the tax cuts, and are indifferent to or deny the apparent corruption, etc. why isn't this a deal-breaker? Is it that most people aren't honorable or compassionate? God, I hope that isn't it. Is it because they're scared? Do they really believe, as a principle, that anything is acceptable if it makes them safer?

The fact of the matter is that we don't use 'alternative' questioning on serial murderers, child molesters, or other sociopaths here, and we don't because repulsive as these criminals are, the treatment is worse than the disease. We don't have to live under Idi Amin to object to people dissapearing down torture room drains - and that's essentially what's happening right now. We have taken years from people based only on our suspicions, and worst than that we've stripped them of their humanity. We locked them away and told ourselves that they weren't really people, they were Islamoterrorists or fundamenalists or something. And for what? Why would anyone want a leader who goes to bat for that?

But maybe I shouldn't be surprised. People get scared, they aren't rational, and they are concerned with the details of their lives. I understand that, as far as it goes, but I can't help thinking that at some future late hour we'll awaken and realize that we no longer have any decency. Won't we wonder how it came to this?

pablo said...

Very well put, Paul C.

Joseph said...

Right on the money, paul c.

Steve Garrison said...

"Bush says he is waging a 'struggle for civilization,' but civilized nations do not debate slavery or genocide, and they don't debate torture, either."

well put, Mr. Miller, but I don't doubt for a second that those "decent Republicans" are any more decent than a pile of shit. It seems to be quite clearly a case of bait and switch, where a few seemingly decent Republicans disagree with an exaggerated stance on torture (That America should be able to tear detainees limb from limb) and the far-right wing Republicans conceed to the lesser stance (Pres. Bush decides what torture means) even though that is really what they wanted in the first place.

It reminds me of haggling practice, where a buyer offers the seller a ridiculously low price for an object, and then comes up to a seemingly reasonable price, that is still lower than the actual price of the object.

The difference is we are not bartering over the price of a fucking vase, this is god damn torture we are talking about, and the fact that we are actually arguing over it, is a god damn disgrace to every citizen of this country, and should be recognized as such. Torture is not negotiable, it is clear and definable and Pres. Bush should be impeached for even suggesting it is a subjective subject.