Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Torture? In This Day And Age?

"Who would have thought we would still be debating the use of torture?" said Kenneth Roth, executive director of Human Rights Watch. "But when a government as dominant and influential as the United States openly defies the absolute ban on mistreating detainees, its conduct jeopardizes prisoners everywhere."

Sad, isn't it?

Worse yet is the fact that we're suddenly shocked, SHOCKED, to find out that we've overseen the torture of Iraqi and Afghani prisoners in countries like Turkey and Syria, that the CIA has agents on-site performing tortures there, rather than bring them here and face American judicial oversight.

I wasn't shocked. Hell, when we invaded Afghanistan and were determined to hunt Al Qaeda down, I remember how we were told that we'd be "exporting" prisoners to countries that weren't as "squeamish" about torture as we were. Syria was specifically mentioned.

And the first thought that came to my mind was, "We're going to trust Assad to elicit information from a fellow Muslim for us?"

So the answer became quickly obvious: we had people there who were going to do it for them. We just needed a private place to indulge this little barabarism.

And yet, we support torture....
The torture ban, written into the $445 billion defense bill by Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., would preclude “cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment” against anyone in U.S. custody, wherever in the world they are held. The language gained Senate approval but will be in jeopardy during House-Senate negotiations, with Cheney pushing for exemptions from the ban for undercover agents working outside the Department of Defense. McCain is standing firmly by his language, saying any leniency would allow the CIA to engage in torture.