The current fight in the Senate over the standards we are to establish for trying captured suspected terrorist is clearly defining what the president stands for.
First, he stands for torture. He wants to make sure that evidence that we obtain via torture is allowed in court. This is troubling on a couple of points. It makes it clear that we have used and will continue to use torture to get information. In addition, information gathered using torture is very unreliable, often people will admit to anything to get the abuse to stop.
Not only does he want to continue to use torture, and use evidence gathered by torture in trials, he wants to make sure the people who are doing the torture are protected from legal accountability. At one time in our history, people who were suspected of being involved in torture were refused admittance, or kicked out. We have expelled old men, 50 years removed from their crimes because at one time, long in the past, they participated in torture, now Bush want to give tortures exalted status of being above the law.
Second, he stands for Kangaroo Courts. Not only does he want to use evidence gathered using torture in courts, he wants to make it so a person being accused may not see the evidence against him, or discover who has presented evidence against him. This is a tactic straight out of the inquisition.
We have seen gross miscarriages of justice in our legal system with all the protections we currently have in place. It is frightening to consider just how much abuse of the truth can occur when there is absolutely no check of the truthfulness of the evidence the government is presenting. Under the Bush plan, a prosecutor can make up about anything, then claim that the information is to sensitive for the defense to view it.
Torture and Kangaroo Courts, if the Senate backs down, these too may be part the legacy of the worst president this nation has ever placed in the White House.