Talk About Missing The Point!
George Bush is in the midst of trying to push legislation through Congress that will shield him from international law on the treatment of prisoners. With the secret CIA run prisons now out in the open and terrorist suspects having made their way to Gitmo where they will meet with Red Cross workers, it seems pretty clear that George Bush will, at the very least, be accused of war crimes. Could it be that his pet legislation now being forced on Congress is merely an attempt to insulate himself from future prosecution? Or is it just that this administration thinks that torture is good wholesome fun.
Most bizarre is watching traditional media miss the point completely. The Washington Post has been framing the issue as a political one, highlighting the rift within the Republican Party on this bill. And Chris Matthews held a discussion on Hardball earlier this week on whether or not we should torture prisoners! Never mind that it’s against international law, morally repugnant and dangerous to our men and women in the military, just about every interrogation expert agrees that it doesn’t work. Under fear of death and extreme physical and psychological duress, suspects will say whatever they think their interrogators want to hear. That is a waste of our resources as we chase down false leads! If Republicans can’t find their moral center long enough to be against torture on principle, perhaps the wasting of tax dollars will sway them.
Has having this corrupt administration in power for the last six years really degraded the public discourse to the point that debating whether or not America should torture prisoners is valid? That should be the shortest debate in history. No, we don’t torture and we never will! For an administration that loves to paint the world in black and white, they sure are presenting a nuanced position on this one! Again, is this just Alberto Gonzales trying to keep his boss from having to sit in the defendant’s chair? Even if this bill is passed, it can’t retroactively make legal what has already been done in violation of international law. I suspect that Gonzales knows this, but what else can he do at this point?
I’m also hearing and reading that this debate is good for Republicans. What?! Advocating torture is now seen as “tough on terrorism”?! The GOP has nothing to offer the American people other than that?! The theory is, if the Republicans can keep the debate centered on terrorism, rather than the economy and the war in Iraq, they will be able to keep control of Congress. I know that Americans have been trained by the media to focus on only one story at a time, but I can’t see how passing a bill that will endanger our troops simply to protect the President will be seen by the American people as a good thing. But maybe I’m just naïve.
The only thing I can figure is that Karl Rove’s promised October surprise will somehow figure into this debate. Perhaps a thwarted attack on US soil with the help of information gathered through the use of torture. Of course it wouldn’t be any more real than the punk kids in Florida labeled “terrorists” or the made up “liquid bomb” story that has resulted in travelers having to ditch all their shampoo and after-shave, but who cares? If it makes a good story, has the potential to scare people and even half of the voting population believes it, it’s all good! The Bush administration and the GOP controlled Congress have done more damage to this country than any terrorist could hope for. They have shown us what they are capable of, driving our economy into the ground, promoting war profiteering, proving that a hurricane is no match for the destruction their incompetence can produce, starting a war that they can’t win while getting ready to start another one and decimating any moral authority we may have had with the international community by torturing prisoners. Anyone that votes for a Republican this November is voting for more of the same, it’s hard to imagine that anyone could be in favor of that.