Thursday, March 13, 2008

America The Torturer

posted by EF Swagee

Once in awhile my Mom talks about how I've always been a good eater. Even at really young ages, I liked almost everything I tried and tried just about everything. I recall one exception; beef braised in a tomato-ey beer mixture. As soon as I walked into the house and caught a whiff, I immediately decided I didn't want to eat it. Later on at the dinner table, after some spirited negotiating with Mom, I eventually forced down a few forkfuls of the stuff. Minutes later, I puked, all over the place.

Strangely, I'm reminded of that incident when I try to make sense of people torturing each other. It sickens me, no matter who is the administer or the victim.....

From Reuters last Saturday:
President George W. Bush on Saturday vetoed legislation passed by Congress that would have banned the CIA from using waterboarding and other controversial interrogation techniques.

LA Times Staff Writer, Johanna Neuman reported yesterday, "House Democrats failed Tuesday to override President Bush's veto of a ban on waterboarding and other harsh interrogation techniques."

The article goes on to quote a Democratic congressman:

"Torture is no proper tool in the arsenal of democracy," said Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-Texas) "If we abandon our American values, we lose who we are as Americans. . . . And if the administration and all of its apologists . . . continue to force America to abandon our values, we will lose the war." Torture, he said, "is not only un-American, it is ineffective."

Good on Congressman Doggett. Click here to send him a 'thank you'.
Here's what Congressman (and presidential candidate) Ron Paul (R-TX) had to say on the house floor about his vote to override President Bush's veto (courtesy of
"I rise in somewhat reluctant support of this vote to override the President's veto of H.R. 2062, the Intelligence Authorization Act of 2008. Although I voted against this authorization when it first came to the floor, the main issue has now become whether we as a Congress are to condone torture as official U.S. policy or whether we will speak out against it. This bill was vetoed by the President because of a measure added extending the prohibition of the use of any interrogation treatment or technique not authorized by the United States Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations to the U.S. intelligence community. Opposing this prohibition is tantamount to endorsing the use of torture against those in United States Government custody.

"We have all read the disturbing reports of individuals apprehended and taken to secret prisons maintained by the United States Government across the globe, tortured for months or even years, and later released without charge. Khaled al-Masri, for example, a German citizen, has recounted the story of his incarceration and torture by U.S. intelligence in a secret facility in Afghanistan. His horror was said to be simply a case of mistaken identity. We do not know how many more similar cases there may be, but clearly it is not in the interest of the United States to act in a manner so contrary to the values upon which we pride ourselves.

"My vote to override the President's veto is a vote to send a clear message that I do not think the United States should be in the business of torture. It is anti-American, immoral and counterproductive."

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