Word Salad (2001)
Better be with the dead,
Whom we, to gain our peace, have sent to peace,
Than on the torture of the mind to lie
In restless ecstasy.
--William Shakespeare, Macbeth
Bookend stories on CNN.com today. One:
The Supreme Court agreed Monday to consider a challenge to the Bush administration's military tribunals for foreign terror suspects, a major test of the government's wartime powers.
[...]Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who is retiring, wrote in one case that "a state of war is not a blank check for the president when it comes to the rights of the nation's citizens."The announcement of the court's move came shortly after President Bush, asked about reports of secret U.S. prisons in Eastern Europe for terrorism suspects, declared anew that his administration does not torture suspects."There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again," Bush said during a joint news conference in Panama City with President Martin Torrijos. "So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law."
Five U.S. soldiers from the 75th Ranger Regiment have been accused of beating detainees in Iraq, the U.S. military said Monday."The allegations stem from an incident on September 7 in which three detainees were allegedly punched and kicked by the soldiers as they were awaiting movement to a detention facility," according to a news release from the U.S. military.[...]The announcement came on a day when President Bush told reporters that the United States does not condone torture."Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Bush said in Panama City, Panama.
The question is simple, America. Do you believe your president is being straight with you? BushCo creates its own reality, remember? So when Dear Leader says he'll pursue evildoers "under the law," he means his self-created law. Our current Attorney General, the official in charge of enforcing federal laws, has said the Geneva Convention is "quaint."
And does an "obligation to protect" supercede international laws regarding the humane treatment of prisoners? Did we publicly embrace torture during any conflict in recent memory? Do we, as a nation, openly advocate an ends-justifies-the-means doctrine of tormenting human beings? And if you say, hey, short-term-memory-loss blogger, we did. Have you forgotten slavery? I'd say, no --
The Bush administration pledged yesterday [7-9-2005] to veto legislation banning the torture of prisoners by US troops after an overwhelming and almost unprecedented revolt by loyalist congressmen.The late-night Senate vote saw the measure forbidding torture passed by 90 to nine, with most Republicans backing the measure. Most senators said the Abu Ghraib abuse scandal and similar allegations at the Guantanamo Bay prison rendered the result a foregone conclusion.The administration's extraordinary isolation was underlined when the Senate Republican majority leader, Bill Frist, supported the amendment.The man behind the legislation, Republican Senator John McCain, who was tortured as a prisoner in Vietnam, said the move was backed by American soldiers. His amendment would prohibit the "cruel, inhumane or degrading" treatment of prisoners in the custody of America's defence department.
But has something popped into Bush's head since summer? Surely he's had advance time now to ponder his position. Will advocating pro-torture jog his memory to recollect his first mistake? Uh-huh. As surely as global warming will melt the ice in hell. From Japan Today:
Tuesday, November 8, 2005 at 08:00 JST
PANAMA CITY — U.S. President George W Bush declined Monday to comment on reports of secret U.S. prisons for terrorism suspects but defended U.S. interrogation tactics, declaring: "We do not torture."Amid reports that senior aides have been lobbying lawmakers to exempt the CIA from limits on aggressive questioning, Bush said he was "working with Congress" to "make it possible -- more possible -- to do our job.""Our country is at war, and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," he said. "Anything we do to that end, in that effort, any activity we conduct, is within the law [emphasis mine]. We do not torture."
No, we don't torture. And remember, last June, when Cheney, after Amnesty International compared Gitmo to Soviet-era gulags, cooed: "They're living in the tropics. They're well fed. They've got everything they could possibly want."
I see. So, it's like going on a cruise, and these guys were just
Chilling by the Pool
Making Small Talk with the Captain
Bush & Company. It's
Who having into truth, by telling of it,
Made such a sinner of his memory,
To credit his own lie.
--William Shakespeare, The Tempest