Reasonably Ascertainable Reality

Thoughts and musings on current events and other random occurrences.

Location: South Jersey, United States

Friday, September 22, 2006

What country is this?

Today is a sad day for the United States of America. Last night, Senators McCain, Warner and Graham reached a compromise with the Bush Administration on the issue of legalizing torture. More specifically, the aim of the Bush Administration was to ensure the contiuance of the CIA interrogation program which is currently in violation of the Geneva Conventions. The senators caved and the administration got exactly what it wanted. I have read only part of the compromise, but the CIA program will continue and the President has the authority to determine what torture is. The additional compromises on options detainess will have in courts is a sham. Detainess won't have access to classified evidence against them and the burden of proof is on them to prove evidence if false. Heresay will be admissable. Marty Lederman has been following this issue very closely and has the best roundup of commentary.

I know the theme of right wing commentary on this is a combination of "they don't qualify for protection under the Geneva Conventions" and "the fact that we wouldn't torture them doesn't mean they won't torture our soldiers" and "its a different kind of enemy we face today and the world is a different place". But when it comes to torturing another human being, what moral high ground do we hold if our arguements fall on technicalities and a code of conduct that is based on our enemies conduct and not our own principles? I'm not going to address the "national security" arguement in favor of this program, as Colin Powell and FIVE FORMER JOINTS CHIEFS OF STAFF have all said that torturing does not provide intelligence or protect any more than other interrogation techniques. I know, I know...silly me. Cheney, Addington and Bush know better than all of them right? Hell, Powerline knows better than all of them right? Idiots.

The other day Dave Justus made an arguement which said that this whole issue was mostly a Republican issue and that it was hurting Democrats to not be a part of the arguement. In his comments, I stated that the major story was McCain against the administration, but that Democrats have made their opposition to this program well known. In retrospect, I gave Democrats way too much credit. If they don't mount some type of opposition, their silence is shameful. This compromise is shameful and today is a shameful day for our country.


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