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Torture: another GOP youthful indiscretion

vastleft's picture


Celebrating his deal with the devil on handling of terrorism suspects, John McCain said:

"There will be no more torture. There will be no more mistreatment of prisoners that would violate standards of conduct we would expect of people who work for the United States of America."

"No more torture" is a more-than-tacit admission that our country has been torturing prisoners.

Naturally, McCain — who is, by all rights, our conscience about such things — will spearhead a rigorous investigation and prosecution of the culprits, including a President who was so supportive of the program, he sought to ensconce it in the law of the land.

Right. So much for the "rebellious Republicans" who "stood up to Bush."

Pee-wee Herman had more credibility when he said, "I'm loner, Dottie. A rebel!" In school, they don't tell you there's debasement in the Capitol.

Perhaps some might think I'm being unfair, since the most extreme provisions of Bush's prisoner-abuse agenda aren't being written into the law just yet.

Well, consider that the new bill, even without giving carte blanche for torture, is specifically crafted to allow things that the Supreme Court ruled were illegal.

And do you really doubt that the fine print will give Bush wiggle room to get away with anything he wants? In any case, the rubber-stamp Congress has time and again proven it will come to Bush's aid, even when it comes to ex-post-facto laws. Whatever Bush wants to do, it's probabably OK, and whatever he has done must be hidden, authorized, or forgotten at all costs.

Consider the moral relativism of holding Clinton's feet to the fire for consensual, if extramarital, sex, vs. letting Bush go scot free for flagrant and inhumane violations of international law. What kind of person can't see the difference?

Here is what McCain had to say about Clinton's misdeeds:

The House managers have made, and I believe some of my colleagues on the other side of the aisle would agree, a persuasive case that the President is guilty of perjury and obstruction. The circumstances that led to these offenses may be tawdry, trivial to some, and usually of a very private nature. But the President broke the law. Not a tawdry law, not a trivial law, not a private law.

I'll respect McCain when he acknowledges that the stain on America's good name from Bush's pre-emptive war (on false pretenses, no less) and his assault on the Geneva Conventions deserve much worse punishment than does anything Clinton ever did to a blue dress.