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Texas Torquemada

By       Message Bob Portune     Permalink
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After years of international and domestic outrage, court decisions, and even bi-partisan Congressional condemnation, the Bush Administration continues to publicly and officially support torture. It's just that simple.

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As the New York Times reports today:
Many of the harsh interrogation techniques repudiated by the Pentagon on Wednesday would be made lawful by legislation put forward the same day by the Bush administration. And the courts would be forbidden from intervening...

Indeed, the proposed legislation takes pains to try to ensure that the Supreme Court will not have a second bite at the apple. "The act makes clear," it says in its introductory findings, "that the Geneva Conventions are not a source of judicially enforceable individual rights"...

[Yale Law School Dean Harold Hongju Koh] said the administration's new interpretation of the Geneva Conventions would further isolate the United States from the rest of the world.

"Making U.S. ratification of Common Article 3 narrower and more conditional than everyone else's," he said, "by its very nature suggests that we are not prepared to make the same commitment that every other nation has made."

Good God, America, where is our collective outrage? Whatever euphemistic wording is trotted out by the White House in defense of its stance, whatever spin is applied to its appalling embrace of bestial behavior, whatever frenzied and inflated fears it tries to exploit as an excuse for the brutalization of America's "enemies" - subject, conveniently, to BushCo's secret, subjective definition of the term - the current Administration wants to legally establish torture as acceptable U.S. policy.

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And that we cannot allow.

Now, I wasn't just born yesterday. It's common knowledge that whenever men with guns have been dispatched against other men with guns that are trying to kill them, there has been isolated mistreatment of "enemy combatants." And I'm sure that there are a number of specific instances in which that mistreatment has yielded pertinent information that saved lives.

Sadly, that's what happens when human beings sink to the "all else has failed" alternative of war. That's what happens when otherwise decent individuals are forced into a situation of unrelenting horror, destruction, and brutality.

That's why war should be avoided at all costs, except as an "all else has failed" course of action - and why those swaggering leaders who rush to war must be emphatically censured, rejected, and removed by any citizenry that dares to call itself "enlightened" or "democratic."

But vigorously advocating the torture of prisoners as an official national policy - and disingenuously doing so in the name of "freedom" - crosses over into a realm of depravity that is treasonous to the very ideals of America. The consistent stance of our President and his minions is a betrayal of the core values we habitually trumpet as setting the U.S. apart from its enemies.

At least the U.S. I remember.

Are we really ready to abandon those fundamental principles of basic human decency embraced by the free nations of the world, simply because we've become so irrationally frightened of a ginned-up "threat" which poses less statistical danger to each of us than stepping into our bathtubs? If your answer is "yes" then America truly has become a shameful place to call home - specifically because of you and others like you.

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Congratulations. You're doing a heckuva job.

Just remember this. The next time President Bush waxes poetic about "supporting the troops" and "protecting America" with his "necessary tool" of "alternative interrogation," he's lying. To you. To me. To the entire population.

It should be more than obvious that his persistent campaign to dance around the Geneva Conventions places our troops on the ground in far greater danger, should they be captured in battle, by providing an abysmal blueprint of what this nation endorses as "acceptable" prisoner abuse.

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After 25 years as a Post-Production Specialist in the greater New York/New Jersey area, Bob recently relocated to Orlando to continue his editorial business and begin Art Directing high-end commemorative magazines. He's been extensively involved (more...)

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