Thursday, May 17, 2007

Republican torturers

By Michael J.W. Stickings

In case you missed it -- as WaPo reminds us in a surprisingly good editorial -- the eleven Republican presidential candidates were asked during their South Carolina debate on Tuesday about the interrogation of suspected terrorists involved in suicide bombings in the U.S. "How aggressively would you interrogate?" asked Fox hack (er, moderator) Brit Hume. The only one of the eleven who came out decidedly against torture was John McCain. The other ten, trying to look tough (or, in Republican terms, presidential), took part in a public pissing contest to see who was the bigger asshole (sorry, mixed metaphors), that is, who, in response to the "million-to-one scenario," would be the more determined torturer.

(See Jon Stewart's hilarious take on the whole "clusterfuck" madness, torture and all, below.) It should come as no surprise that Jack Bauer's name was mentioned, nor that Giuliani leaned on 9/11 for support (and applause), nor that Republicans are playing to the lowest instincts of voters, but the award for craziest comment, and the competition was stiff, must go to Mitt Romney, who said that "we ought to double Guantanamo".

WaPo: "Does Mr. Romney think the president has gone soft on terrorism? More likely, he and most of the other GOP candidates are calculating that they can curry favor with voters by promising that torture will be a tool of their presidential administrations." Whatever his warmongering ways, McCain's leadership in opposition to torture has been admirable. But he is alone among his peers, all of whom, it would seem, aspire to be torturer-in-chief.

This is what the Republican Party has come to.

(For more, see Jim Martin at The Impolitic.)

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