The last couple of weeks has been quite fascinating. We have politicians of all types who appear eager to embrace inhumanity and what are quite likely highly illegal actions.
We have a flock Republican Presidential candidates who all want to be seen as the next Jack Bauer. One, Rudy Giuliani, going as far as to try to tie police questioning that he oversaw, with the torture our government is now employing. We have a confirmation mating dance in DC, where all parties are afraid to talk plainly about the subject, and instead chose to focus of what 'is' is. The President still foolishly parrots his false claim that the US doesn't torture. He apparently thinks that if he redefines torture to remove from the list all the acts of torture we want to use, we are not torturing.
Everyone is acting like the issue of the propriety and legality of waterboarding (and other unnamed forms of torture) is in question. Well, it is not. The US has viewed this act as illegal for over 100 years. In the past, the US has denounce other governments for using this, and other forms of torture. We have prosecuted war criminals who have used waterboarding to question captives.
And now we seem to be trying to claim that this act is no longer torture.
Another way to look at this is to consider the company you keep. Who else is known to have embraced the use of water boarding? Well, Japan during WWII, North Vietnam and the Vietcong , The Stalin's KGB, Pol Pot of Killing Fields fame, and now George Bush.
In the next day or two, more names can be added to the list of those who think torture is an acceptable way of doing business. Including a number of Democratic Senators and of couse both Senators from South Carolina. DeMint, who is a reliable vote for Bush, and Graham, who knows better, but lacks the courage to do the right thing. When Mukasey is approved as AG, those who vote to install him are also voting to approve the use of torture. In his confirmation it was made very clear the he is also willing to twist the law to allow us to try to redefine torture, and allow its continued use.
And, no matter what our politicians do, no matter how they justify it, how they redefine it, no matter how much makeup they apply, it is still torture. Keith Oberman again nails the truth, and the disgustingly viable reasons for Mukasey nomination, and acceptance.
Dispatches From The Culture Wars also touches upon this theme.