November 07, 2005

To torture or not? In American hands, is there really any question?

How lost has a government become in its own ideology and self-interest when they are willing to have a public debate over the ability to torture contrary to their own laws? It has become disgustingly obvious that the heads of state, Bush and Cheney, are more wrapped up in their own agendas, whatever they may be, to realize just how absurd they’ve become. Bush has used the threat of veto and Cheney is now crying to the public and holding closed-door meetings to get their ways. The argument, and really the only one that Cheney and Bush seem to have, is that they need to allow the CIA the ability to torture people for matters of national security. Some people may consider this a strong reason. National security after all, especially when you’re the US, is essentially the mortar of the fragile American way of life. Without security, the US’ foundation falls apart; the ability to build and dominate in the world, such as they have, would be gone. Granted. Duly noted. Blah, blah… What is national security worth when everything that is worth fighting for is slowly eroded away? Allowing torture, contrary to law – "No individual in the custody or under the physical control of the United States Government, regardless of nationality or physical location, shall be subject to cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment." ~ Senate Amendment 1977 – would really only be another step taken by this Republican government to show its contempt for civil liberties. They have argued that it would be used only on foreign captives but that is the same type of crap they said before. Many American citizens have been caught up in the so-called Patriot Acts. Two acts that are supposed to grant security personnel greater ability to do their jobs in capturing terrorists at home have been used against general citizens committing petty crimes with no connection to terrorism at all. One only has to look at the problems surrounding Guantanamo Bay, which have become so apparent that the US Supreme Court has decided to challenge some processions taken by the Bush government. What this all boils down to is what’s to stop the Bush administration from abusing their ‘privilege’ to torture? From past actions, it would seem that nothing would stop them. It is obvious that this regime is not concerned with foreign opinion of their nation since they made an already slow decent of goodwill into a downward spiral. And let’s not forget it only took the slow decent to piss enough people off to attack the US from within (but that simple line of reasoning is lost on people such as Bush and Cheney). Maybe Linwood Barclay said it correctly today. Maybe using it on Scooter Libby is the right idea. Hell, he fits the bill doesn’t he? He’s shown to be risk to national security and he’s been somewhat unwilling to provide all his information. Sounds like the perfect candidate to me to test out the effectiveness of torture. The CIA have even more reason to do this since it was one of their own that he put in harms way. But alas, it won’t happen for a whole host of reasons. The two most obvious in mind: First, Libby may lie to just end the whole process and save (his) face. Secondly, lying or not, he may name Cheney. I love how this all works out in the end.

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Quotes from people smarter than me...

"If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich" ~ JFK

"Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. " ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety. " ~ Benjamin Franklin

"First it is necessary to stand on your own two feet. But the minute a man finds himself in that position, the next thing he should do is reach out his arms. " ~ Kristin Hunter

"When you're a mayor and you have a problem you blame the provincial government. If you are provincial government and you have a problem you blame the federal government. We don't blame the Queen any more, so once in a while we might blame the Americans." ~ Jean Chretien

"Which is ideology? Which not? You shall know them by their assertion of truth, their contempt for considered reflection, and their fear of debate." ~ John Ralston Saul

"It is undoubtedly easier to believe in absolutes, follow blindly, mouth received wisdom. But that is self-betrayal." ~ John Ralston Saul

"Everybody dies, Tracey. Someone's carrying a bullet for you right now, doesn't even know it. The trick is to die of old age before it finds you." ~ Cpt. Malcolm Reynolds (Firefly, Episode 12)