Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Making an Exception for Torture

Just when I think this regime can't possibly do anything further to shock me, it proves me wrong. This time it has to do with torture (I don't like the euphemism 'inhumane treatment') and the recently passed Senate bill on its ban. Today's Washington Post has the story.

The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.

The proposal, which two sources said Vice President Cheney handed last Thursday to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the company of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by "an element of the United States government" other than the Defense Department.

"This is the first time they've said explicitly that the intelligence community should be allowed to treat prisoners inhumanely," said Tom Malinowski, the Washington advocacy director for Human Rights Watch. "In the past, they've only said that the law does not forbid inhumane treatment." Now, he said, the administration is saying more concretely that it cannot be forbidden.
[Emphasis added]

For an administration that implies its legitimacy rests in its moral superiority and Christian values, this move is absolutely shocking, both in the content of the 'discussion' and its sheer hypocrisy. Jesus did not say "Do unto others as you would have them to do unto you, unless they are terrorists, and then you can do whatever you want." His teaching was not that nuanced. He gave out an imperative on this and other issues with great clarity.

Further, the regime has displayed convenient lapses of memory when it comes to such details as the fact that the US is a signatory to the Geneva Conventions and other treaties forbidding the use of torture. These documents to my knowledge did not carve out any exceptions. To violate the provisions of these treaties is to state that the word of the US is worthless, especially when it comes to convenience.

I have long believed and stated openly that many of the actions taken by this maladministration were evil. I am now coming to believe that the members themselves are evil. To state that there are exceptions available only to the US on the issue of torture can only be explained by evil.

I am reminded of the lament of one of the prophets: "How long, O Lord, how long?"

2 Comments:

Blogger PusBoy said...

I fully expect the GOP to bring forth an amendment to the Constitution which will assert that American citizenship is a "Get Out of Hell Free Card." Of course, they'll have to figure out a way to make it whites only, but I'm sure DeLay and Rove can work something out.

6:13 AM  
Blogger elendil said...

If the bill exemption for the CIA goes through, will it still be possible for the American people to avoid culpability by claiming that they didn't know what was going on?

6:48 PM  

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