Washington is a moral swamp. When the chief executive can
stand at the presidential podium and make an unabashed appeal for torture, then
the American dream is dead.
Bush hates America and only God knows why? He�s been
buoyed-along his entire life on a raft of wealth and privilege; distancing
himself from his endless failures, one after the other . . . flop, flop, flop.
Still, President Codpiece wants more; another pound of flesh to inflate his
battered, alcohol-saturated ego. He wants to snuff out anything that even
vaguely resembles honor or decency or dignity, so he can permeate the world
with his own fiendish image beaming from TVs across the globe.
Who could ever have imagined the President of the United
States making the case for torture like some flannel-mouth medicine man at a
�Where is your sense of decency, sir?�
The shame that Bush has brought on this country is nearly as
great as the ignominy heaped on the nation by the Republican rubber-stamp
congress. The House of Representatives is the real moral swamp. Not once, in
six years have they stood up to Bush . . . not once!!! Meanwhile the country
has trundled off to war on a �pack of lies,� the president has authorized
unlimited spying on the American people, 300,000 mostly poor, black people were
ethnically cleansed in New Orleans, and countless thousands of innocent Muslims
have been kept in bondage in American gulags.
And don�t bother defending that phony McCain and his cadres
of far-right toadies jousting with Bush on �secret evidence.� What a joke.
McCain never saw a war he didn�t like. He�s chairman of the International
Republican Party, a slick-sounding NGO that topples foreign governments (like
Hugo Chavez) that don�t believe that every nickel of the world�s wealth should
go to the upper 1 percent. Even his fight against �secret evidence� is pure
fiction. If McCain �the maverick� wins, American-held prisoners will still not
have the right to challenge their case in federal court or sue for damages in
the case of unlawful arrest. McCain, Warner and Graham, have removed habeas
corpus (the foundation of American jurisprudence dating back 800 years into
English law) as a fundamental human right. The only rights that prisoners will
have are the right to appear before three of Rumsfeld�s hand-picked stooges to
plead for mercy. It is an utter travesty.
Republicans love to lavish praise on that inveterate racist
Winston �bomb the niggers� Churchill. Here�s what Churchill said about habeas
corpus: �The power of the executive to cast a man into prison without
formulating any charge known to the law, and particularly to deny him the
judgment of his peers, is in the highest degree odious, and the foundation of
all totalitarian government whether Nazi or Communist.�
According to the Associated Press (AP) there are more than
14,000 of these unlucky souls in Bush�s gulags right now. That doesn�t include
the tens of thousands in Iraqi concentration camps and detention facilities.
Bush not only claims the right to hold them indefinitely, but wants the
congress to endorse his right to torture them as he sees fit. This is the very
definition of tyranny.
Here�s Bush defending torture in his September 6 speech:
�Captured terrorists have a unique knowledge about how terrorist networks
operate . . . and knowledge of what plots are underway." (The �ticking
time-bomb farce) "Our security depends on getting this kind of
information." (Like the Sept PDB �Bin Laden Planning on Striking in
America�?) "Many Al Qaida or Taliban fighters try to conceal their
identities and withhold information that could save American lives. They have
received training on how to resist interrogation. And, so, the CIA used an
Alternate Set of Procedures. These procedures were designed to be safe, to
comply with our laws, our Constitution, and our treaty obligations. The Dept of
Justice reviewed the authorized methods extensively, and determined them to be
Then why change the laws, George? No harm, no foul.
Bush wants to change the law because he KNOWS the
�procedures� constitute torture; a violation of the War Crimes Act and the
Geneva Conventions. His petition for torture goes far beyond a sadistic urge to
inflict pain on other human beings. It is a frontal assault on the fundamental
principles which underscore the Bill of Rights. It is an expression of the
hatred he feels for our system, our laws, and our prevailing ethos. It is a way
of forcibly removing any obstacles to absolute power.
The opponents of torture have mounted a flimsy, limp-wristed
defense that torture produces unreliable information or that it may put our own
soldiers at risk. What gibberish! That�s the spineless equivocating of lawyers
We oppose torture because it is a moral evil; it makes no
difference if you are religious or not.
There is no lower form of human activity than inflicting
pain on another person. None. Even killing someone allows them to retain some
trace of dignity; torture robs them even of that.
Anyone who thinks torture is �quaint� is unfit to lead; in
fact, they are a cancer on society. Bush�s railing against the Geneva
Conventions is the sign of a man who accepts no legal or ethical constraints on
his behavior. It is a blanket defense of cruelty and an attack on our core
principles as Americans. It is the language of a dictator whose sole aspiration
is the expansion of his own despotic power.
Bush says that the wording of Geneva is �vague,� and that
�outrages against human dignity� is hard to decipher. That is because he plans
to push the limits of the law by exacting as much pain as possible from his
victims. Geneva is not vague. It intentionally casts a broad net to discourage
ANY harsh treatment of detainees in one�s charge. Its condemnation of the
�cruel, inhuman and degrading� treatment of prisoners has never been challenged
because it is a clear indictment any such punishment.
What is it that Bush does not understand about our laws and
traditions? How can a man reach the pinnacle of power without the slightest
resolve to defend even minimal standards of human decency?
�Inalienable rights� have no geographic boundary; they are
the province of every person. Prisoners are no less entitled to human rights
than anyone else. The president�s plea to repeal the Geneva Conventions is a
portentous reminder of how �absolute power corrupts absolutely� and of how
quickly America has slipped into the quicksand of moral depravity.
Whitney lives in Washington state. He can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.