Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Who WOULD Jesus Torture? Hell, let's waterboard Him till He comes up with the answer we're looking for.

No Blood for Hubris is having a major night of right-wing-initiated nausea.

Why might that be? Sure, there was that nauseating thing about the Soft-On-Treason Republicans earlier, and now there's this Torturz-R-US thingie about Big Dick Cheney, he who revealed the name of a clandestine CIA officer to his personal pet Rottweiler, Scooter (what kind of name is that for a grown man?) Libby.

So, one wonders, is it Cheney who's Mr. Sadistic?

See, I always thought it was Rummy.

But no-o-o-o-o.


Vice President for Torture

Wednesday, October 26, 2005; Page A18

VICE PRESIDENT Cheney is aggressively pursuing an initiative that may be unprecedented for an elected official of the executive branch: He is proposing that Congress legally authorize human rights abuses by Americans.

"Cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment of prisoners is banned by an international treaty negotiated by the Reagan administration and ratified by the United States. The State Department annually issues a report criticizing other governments for violating it.

Now Mr. Cheney is asking Congress to approve legal language that would allow the CIA to commit such abuses against foreign prisoners it is holding abroad. In other words, this vice president has become an open advocate of torture."

Okay, now, gentle readers, we're having a barf break. We had one on the soft-on-treason post, and I just feel like we need to be having some more, again.

"His position is not just some abstract defense of presidential power. The CIA is holding an unknown number of prisoners in secret detention centers abroad. In violation of the Geneva Conventions, it has refused to register those detainees with the International Red Cross or to allow visits by its inspectors.

Its prisoners have "disappeared," like the victims of some dictatorships."

According to Human Rights Watch:

Earlier this month, in a 90-9 vote, the U.S. Senate approved a measure sponsored by Republican Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham that would prohibit the military and CIA from using “cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment” in the case of any detainee, anywhere in the world.

But last week, Vice President Dick Cheney and CIA director Porter Goss met with Sen. McCain to propose a presidential waiver for the proposed legislation. The proposed waiver states that the measure “shall not apply with respect to clandestine counterterrorism operations conducted abroad, with respect to terrorists who are not citizens of the United States, that are carried out by an element of the United States government other than the Department of Defense. . . if the president determines that such operations are vital to the protection of the United States or its citizens from terrorist attack.”

The waiver, which by its own terms applies to non-military counterterrorism operations against non-citizens overseas, states that such operations need to be “consistent with the Constitution and laws of the United States and treaties to which the United States is a party.” But the Constitution does not robustly curtail the conduct of the CIA overseas, and relevant domestic laws contain numerous jurisdictional loopholes. Moreover, administration officials have previously told Congress that they do not consider CIA personnel operating outside the United States to be bound by legal prohibitions against “cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment” under treaties to which the United States is party.

“This exception contains code language that could give the CIA a green light to treat prisoners inhumanely,” said Malinowski. “If allowed to stand, it will render President Bush’s past pledges about humane treatment meaningless.”

"Human Rights Watch said the waiver would also open the door for outright torture, as interrogators would find it impossible to draw lines between illegal and 'allowable' mistreatment. Bush administration officials, under questioning from members of Congress in the past, have failed to clearly define differences between torture and lesser forms of mistreatment. They have also made inaccurate statements about the definition of torture; for instance, administration officials have claimed that 'waterboarding' (suffocating a person until he believes he is about to drown) is not a form of torture."

How sick is that?

Back to WaPo:

"The Justice Department and the White House are known to have approved harsh interrogation techniques for some of these people, including "waterboarding," or simulated drowning; mock [simulated] execution; and the deliberate withholding of pain medication."

Note for the uninitiated: this is TORTURE.

Deliberately causing pain counts, deliberately causing horror counts, bringing a fellow human being to the point of death--and back--and then to the point of death--and back again--counts.

Don't let those "organ failure" guidelines from Gonzalez fool you, it's all about the pain. Recall one famed oriental torture, not causing death, but causing exquisite pain--those little slivers of bamboo classically used under the fingernails? Because the digits have many more nerve endings than other parts of the body? Think that that doesn't count as torture?

Think again.


RJ Eskow said...

"Soft on torture"? Don't you mean "hard on torture"? Dick is actively encouraging it, not just toleratig it ...

No Blood for Hubris said...

Hm. You're right.