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Thursday, October 06, 2005

The First Veto.

For four and a half years, George Bush has never exercised one of the most powerful of Presidential powers: the veto. Congress has mostly been Bush's loyal accomplice in the pro-wealthy, pro-war agenda of the GOP, so there's simply been no need.

That may change. Bush has promised to veto a new bill passed in the Senate, 90-9, which bars the use of
"cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of persons under custody or control of the United States government."

The bill's sponsor, conservative John McCain (who passes for a "moderate" in our backwards, right-tilted world), says the point of the bill is two-fold: 1) send a message to the world that the USA does not tolerate torture and 2) tell our soldiers exactly what kind of conduct is permissible when interviewing detainees. On both points, of course John McCain is correct.

Bush doesn't care. His entire foreign policy has been built about not giving one lick about what the world thinks. To him, the only people's opinions who matter are his base of conservative Christian Republicans. Second, Bush doesn't want soldiers to stop using torture. The Bush Administration simply doesn't care or respect the fundamental dignity that every human life has. Despite claiming to be Christians, they violate the tenents of their believes by condoning torture.

Torture isn't being kept around because it works. It doesn't. Study after study shows that torture results in bad information. Even if it does work, it's immoral. Torture is being maintained because an old-boys network has always done it that way. The threat of torture, unfortunately, may be seen to serve as a deterrent.

Yet another example of why George Bush is a giant hypocrite.

Comments on ""


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (12:31 PM) : 

I bet one of the reasons he plans to veto it is because it will just expose our soldiers, who have already suffered a lot, to more prosecution/ prison terms at home. You can't really apply civilian standards to people in war, after all they're killing people indiscriminantly, and being kileld indiscriminantly - how humane is that? I think you have to think of the 18 year old enlisted soldier when you view this bill (we send them to war and then send them to prison when they get home?) but coming from McCain (a Hanoi Hilton guest) it does carry a lot more weight than it would if it were from someone trying to play armchair general.


Blogger Michael Alexander said ... (4:42 PM) : 

This bill in no way shape or form exposes our soldiers. All it does is prevent "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment of persons under custody or control of the United States government." Torture is never occurring when soldiers are defending themselves, as you seem to imply. Torture is only occurring behind closed doors and against people completed subject to the control of our military.

The non-use of torture is not a "civilian standard." It is a war time standard adopted by the Geneva Conventions. No rational reason exists for torturing those in custody, and you certainly didn't give me a reason to refute.

If anything, this bill will help our soldiers because, should they get captured, their captors will know that the USA does not condone torture and will be more likely to spare our soldiers torture.

This bill is not going to subject our soldiers to prosecution at home as long as they obey the law. Torture is NOT occuring because of the acts of a few random soldiers (as the VRWC would like you to believe.) Torture is occurring because it is being ordered by the highest levels of the military and can be traced back to Bush's secretary of defense, Donald Rumsfeld.


Anonymous Anonymous said ... (7:58 PM) : 

against a conventional enemy, of course the geneva convention would apply (all 3 requirements would be met) and we would be well advised to adhere to it because, as you stated, we would want our soldiers to be protected by it too.
Al Qaeda doesn't meet the requirements, and they've decapitated everyone that even resembled an enemy (our so called captors will not give a shit what standards the US has for their captives, they will be too busy slitting the throat, pausing for minute to increase the pain and sufering, and then continuing with the decapitation, I watch the videos). Where's the quid pro quo of us limiting ourselves by taking "punishment or degrading behavior" off the table, leaving torture aside for the moment.

And I agree with you on your last point, it's the old men who make all the rules (like this bill) and orders that the young men in combat have to obey, but it will be some young teenager who will be made a scapegoat and sent to prison for violating this bill


Blogger Michael Alexander said ... (4:00 PM) : 

All this bill bans is "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." Regardless of whether or not the Geneva Conventions apply, we as a nation don't need to torture people to get what we need.

Soldiers aren't going to be charged for all sorts of crimes under this bill. The greater good of this people is eradicating the use of a terrorist tactic, torture, from the practices of the United States. Certainly that outweighs any concerns that soldiers will get charged with crimes. Once their superiors aren't ordering torture anymore, soldiers won't be committing acts of torture.


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