This is the signature legacy of President George the Worst:
More than 20 Republican senators rejected a ban on the use of cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners on Tuesday, voting against an ultimately successful measure to permanently prevent a repeat of the CIA’s once secret and now widely-discredited torture program.
The bipartisan amendment reaffirms President Barack Obama’s prohibition of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding and sleep deprivation, which were developed by the CIA under the administration of his predecessor, George W Bush.
The measure passed in the Senate, 78-21.
It will no doubt fail in the House.
The Republican Party has become a vile and loathsome thing, a gibbering monster that slithers and twists in darkness.
Shaun Mullen looks at recently disclosed evidence that the American Psychological Association is complicit in torture and other war crimes. A nugget:
In early June 2004, the report said, a senior APA official issued an invitation to a carefully selected group of psychologists and behavioral scientists inside the government to a private meeting to discuss the Bush administration’s public relations crisis and the role of psychologists in the torture program. Following a meeting, the association issued guidelines that reaffirmed that it was acceptable for its members to be involved in the interrogation program.
Read the rest, and weep.
In a letter to the editor of the Roanoke Times, J. D. Hansard observes:
In 1776, with a seemingly superior army fighting us in our own country and torturing our soldiers who had surrendered, Washington decreed that we would not stoop to the use of torture. He declared that we were better people than that.
After 9/11, we were faced with a group of murderous and cruel enemies, but they had no army, no air force and no navy. They lacked weapons of mass destruction. But Cheney and Bush decreed that the threat to us was so great that we must abandon George Washington’s idealism.
Read the rest.
Jon Stewart on those who would defend the indefensible.
Below the fold in case it autoplays.
Robert Klose explodes torturous reasoning at the Bangor Daily News. A snippet:
My God. Slavery worked — for the slaveholders.
Eugene Robinson unloads both barrels on those who would defend evil:
The “debate” over torture is almost as grotesque as torture itself. There can be no legitimate debate about the intentional infliction of pain upon captive and defenseless human beings. The torturers and their enablers may deny it, but they know – and knew from the beginning – that what they did was obscenely wrong.
We relied on legal advice, the torturers say. We were just following orders. We believed the ends justified the means.
It is nauseating to hear such pathetic excuses from those who, in the name of the United States, sanctioned or committed acts that long have been recognized as war crimes.
Chauncey Devega takes on the Torture Report and puts its findings* in historical perspective. His post is a difficult read–difficult because it challenges white America’s view of its own history and faith in its own moral purity (often referred to as “American Exceptionalism”), but please do read it.
*You cannot call them “revelations.” Anyone who pays attention knew what was coming.
I haven’t read the Torture Report and don’t intend to. Legitimate news sources are telling me it’s about what I expected: vileness wrapped in evil wrapped in sadism served with a side of self-righteousness, the reign of President George the Worst in microcosm.
Shaun Mullen is disappointed at President Obama’s failure to grapple with President George the Worst’s legacy of torture. A nugget:
Seven and a half years after Obama promised a new beginning, including banning torture in one of his first acts, any expectation . . . that he would at least advocate a thorough examination of the torture regime’s worst excesses has been dashed. Obama’s endorsement, by his silence, of the CIA’s continued obstruction of the Democrat-dominated Senate Intelligence Committee’s release of its damning report on torture without redactions that would render it meaningless, is nothing less that a legitimization of that agency’s vile practices. His defense of CIA Director John Brennan, who has led the campaign to stymie release of the report while at least tacitly approving the rogue agency’s own spying on the Senate committee, makes farcical the president’s statements that he believes in the U.S. hewing to international law, including the Geneva Conventions.
I tend to agree with Shaun on this. I do not agree when persons complain that President Obama failed to close Guantanamo; Congress prevented that. In this case, though, he had freedom to choose, and he chose wrong.