Friday, December 16, 2005

Bush agrees to McCain's torture ban

Humanity 1, Bush 0.

It's yet another White House flip-flop, but at least it's hypocrisy in the right direction. From the Post:

The White House and Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) reached agreement today on a measure that would ban torture and limit interrogation tactics in U.S. detention facilities, a provision that the Bush administration had strongly resisted but that received broad support in Congress.

The agreement, announced after President Bush met with McCain and Sen. John Warner (R-Va.) in the White House, came a day after the House overwhelmingly approved language supported by McCain that would prohibit "cruel, inhuman, or degrading treatment or punishment" of anyone in the custody of the U.S. government. The Senate approved the provision by a lopsided margin earlier.

My last post on torture (with links to previous posts) is here.

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Around the blogosphere:

Andrew Sullivan: "[T]his is a huge step forward for the president, the war and American honor. It also has, I think, implications for McCain's possible succession to Bush as president."

The Carpetbagger Report: "The events that led the White House to reverse course on this will no doubt be fleshed out in the coming hours and days, but it seems safe to assume that when the House easily passed a non-binding resolution in support of McCain's amendment last night, 308 to 122, and in the process ignored the administration's demands, Bush's congressional liaisons knew the writing was on the wall."

But don't get too excited: Body and Soul exposes a potentially serious problem. So does Think Progress. And The Heretik.

The White House probably did see the writing on the wall and obviously needed to do something to align itself with public and Congressional opinion (not to mention humanity). And, on the surface, this looks good. I've long been a supporter of McCain on this issue. As I put it yesterday, "there ought to be a firm and absolute ban against [torture]". This White House flip-flop -- and McCain's victory over his opponents throughout the Republican Party -- moves America closer to such a ban.

But don't yet take Bush at his word. He and his pro-torture cronies, led by Cheney, are likely looking for whatever loophole they can find.

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5 Comments:

  • National Nitwit has more on President Bush's decision on torture.

    National Nitwit - at least 50% truthful, or Bill Gates' money back.

    By Blogger Subcomandante Bob, at 12:28 PM  

  • Thanks, Bob. I'll check it out.

    By Blogger Michael J.W. Stickings, at 11:53 PM  

  • Torture....why it still exists is a mystery to all that understand it for what it truly is. Torture is nothing more than another tool, one of many in the hands of the incompetent, aka, the Bully.
    The Bully will never be led to the facts of why torture is an ineffective tool against any crime committed by a true believer of they're crime, because the Bully fears pain the Bully thinks everyone else does. The Bully would talk, all Bullies do, for they are cowards at heart. Neither education nor intelligence is an indicator that torture will result in a positive effect from the person tortured, the only people that torture works on are those that fear pain and suffering more than they believe in they’re beliefs. When the tortured person has a true belief, a radical commitment, or just a strong sense in right and wrong, they will tell nothing and they will endure anything, including death.
    How we know this to be true is apparent in common people almost daily; a young man that wants his freedom more than life stands in front of a tank, a suicide bomber blows himself/herself up in a mall, a man sits on death row for more than two decades and never confesses to the crime even if it might save his life, and finally an older event, a man lets himself be nailed to a cross in lieu of just shutting up. How do you measure belief?
    We can tell how well one has been educated, we can test I.Q., but there is no way to measure the very factors that allow a person to withstand incredible physical pain in order to protect the beliefs they hold. The easy answer is that the person does not value life and is willing to die or kill; the flip-side to that is that the person feels that life only has value when it is lived in accordance to the beliefs held, good or bad.
    I am of an opinion that the same people that believe in a death penalty are the same ones that believe that torture is okay, for the right reasons of course, and the administrators of the torture will only use it when necessary, and only for good, never for fun, oh no, of course not.
    Torture gives the impression that something is being done, it gives the appearance of action.
    Instant gratification is not a new desire for people, the desire to accomplish a job and move on is the driving force of human evolution. The Bully merely satiates that desire in the masses; the masses trust the Bullies to protect them, and they pay the Bullies to insure that the Bullies don’t Bully them.
    It matters not if the Bully is taking your lunch money at school, or if the Bully is a world leader, same tactics just a different scale.
    Eventually the path that the Bullies have made will lead to they’re own destruction, along with many of those that went along with them, there is no other alternative to the method of biting your nose to spite your face. The more the Bullies use the tactics that have allowed them to flourish, the more the failures add up. As they truly believe that the way to fix all problems are to throw them against the wall, really really hard, eventually the walls just fall down.
    When the broken system is replaced all are again happy, they will have blamed the Bullies for the failures, and obviously the actions of the Bullies could not be a representation of them or the ideals that they cherish so closely, obviously.
    Bullies are bad, except of course when they can serve up revenge, I meant justice, at the drive-thru.
    ken

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:35 AM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 1:50 PM  

  • By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:32 AM  

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