Thursday, October 04, 2007

George W. Bush: Stinking, Lying Torturer

The President of the United States is hellbent on being able to order the torture of other human beings. This despite an overwhelming amount of evidence that torture is not the most effective means of eliciting accurate information from suspects. One can only conclude that indeed, for this man, the point of torture is simply torture.

Despite attempting to fool his nation into believing he doesn't approve of torture, his administration was exposed today in The New York Times as saying one thing in public, but secretly orchestrating legal cover for doing the opposite:

When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

Later that year, as Congress moved toward outlawing “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment, the Justice Department issued another secret opinion, one most lawmakers did not know existed, current and former officials said. The Justice Department document declared that none of the C.I.A. interrogation methods violated that standard.

The classified opinions, never previously disclosed, are a hidden legacy of President Bush’s second term and Mr. Gonzales’s tenure at the Justice Department, where he moved quickly to align it with the White House after a 2004 rebellion by staff lawyers that had thrown policies on surveillance and detention into turmoil.

Congress and the Supreme Court have intervened repeatedly in the last two years to impose limits on interrogations, and the administration has responded as a policy matter by dropping the most extreme techniques. But the 2005 Justice Department opinions remain in effect, and their legal conclusions have been confirmed by several more recent memorandums, officials said. They show how the White House has succeeded in preserving the broadest possible legal latitude for harsh tactics.
Now I should warn you. I have absolutely no tolerance for the morally and intellectually bankrupt idiots who'll engage in sophomoric hypotheticals of ticking bomb scenarios to justify their support for legal torture. The probability of judicial leniency in the face of a true emergency is all the reassurance a decent human being should need to act as they feel necessary should some "24"-style fantasy ever materialize (and even if that probability wasn't reassuring, does anyone really believe a decent person would just sit there and think, "Uh, I might go to jail, I guess I have to let thousand of people die"?).

Therefore, there is no need whatsoever for the government of the United States to authorize under any conditions the same types of abuse of suspects we had consistently condemned in other countries up until this current resident of the White House moved in. The fact that he feels compelled to issue secret workarounds of the law suggests he has some idea why it's wrong, but just not enough to fulfill the oath he took at his inauguration. If he's incapable of protecting the nation within the law he should say so (and seek changes in the legislation, openly, so the public knows what he is) or resign. Finally it's utterly unacceptable that our President should lie to us about something so fundamental to our collective humanity.

Labels: torture


Anonymous ml said...

Torture is consistent with Bush's personality. He has a reputation since childhood of being a bully. A bully writ large is a torturer.

What revelations are necessary before Congress institutes impeachment proceedings?

10/04/2007 10:37:00 AM  
Anonymous Riprap said...

Mr. Bush should listen to the wisdom he clamis to adhere to: "Do unto others as you would have them do to you."

10/04/2007 12:25:00 PM  
Anonymous truth monger said...

El es el Diablo, es verdad.

10/04/2007 08:11:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

In the Andrew Sullivan piece where he calls Bush a War Criminal there is a comment on his blog where someone asks why this isn't a topic every day on every blog and in every conversation amongst adults until the dialogue is so constant that the media must engage it. Indeed.

10/05/2007 12:15:00 AM  
Blogger David Cauchi said...

It's really scary.

I thought we realised that, besides anything else, torture was completely useless as a way of getting information sometime round the 17th or 18th century.

It's quite systematic as well. It's like they're deliberately heading us towards a second dark ages.

Face it guys, the enlightenment's over.

10/05/2007 07:06:00 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The bastard tortured and killed animals as a child:;=&spon;=&pagewanted;=print

10/08/2007 10:59:00 AM  

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