Saturday, October 08, 2005

Our attitude toward torture

Did you know that President Bush has not exercised his right to veto even once since he's been in office? But he's about to now. He's going to veto an anti-torture law. I can't believe that we've tried and convicted the grunts in the military who've tortured prisoners (as if they were just bad apples) when it's clear their behavior is about policy that goes all the way up the chain of command. And if Bush vetoes the anti-torture law, it will be clear that the chain of command regarding the policy in favor of torture truly begins with the Commander-in-Chief. An article explaining the situation is published by Britain's Telegraph and is entitled, "Bush will veto anti-torture law after Senate revolt". Here's part of what it says:

The Bush administration pledged yesterday to veto legislation banning the torture of prisoners by US troops after an overwhelming and almost unprecedented revolt by loyalist congressmen.

The mutiny was the latest setback for an administration facing an increasingly independent and bloody-minded legislature. But it also marked a key moment in Congress's campaign to curtail the huge powers it has granted the White House since 2001 in its war against terrorism.

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.

The vote was one of the largest and best supported congressional revolts during President George W Bush's five years in office and shocked the White House.

If Bush does indeed veto this bill it will only increase the hatred of America that is so prevalent abroad.

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