Saturday, October 28, 2006

Vice President for Torture

Last year, when US Vice-President Dick Cheney was working to prevent Congress from passing a law outlawing cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of prisoners in US custody, he was denounced as the Vice President for torture. Now he has made it crystal clear that he is unequivocally, undeniably pro-torture by endorsing waterboarding. And yet, at the same time, he tries to deny that that is in fact what he is endorsing:

"Would you agree a dunk in water is a no-brainer if it can save lives?" Mr Hennen asked.

"Well, it's a no-brainer for me," Mr Cheney replied. "But for a while there, I was criticised as being the vice president for torture. We don't torture. That's not what we're involved in."

But there's absolutely no wiggle-room here. It was torture when the Spanish Inquisition did it. It was torture when the Nazis did it. It was torture when the Japanese did it. It was torture when the Khmer Rouge did it. According to the US military, it was torture when their own soldiers did it in the Philippines and Vietnam, and torture when it is done to captured American servicemen. It doesn't stop being torture now simply because Dick Cheney says so.


The fact that despite all that is known the Bush/Cheney/GOP remains to be supported by a significant number of Ametricans is a worrying sign to the world as to the vile range of values that has become America.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/29/2006 12:53:00 AM

It might be hard to say it but for most people in the world (not just USA) it IS a "no-brainer" (well, where you care abut the lives it would save of course). I presume 'Dick' happens to be one of those people.

What comes into question is the "if it can save lives" part.

Posted by Genius : 10/29/2006 09:21:00 AM

As a Kiwi living in America I wouldn't be too hard on "America" as a whole. This remains the most diverse and multicultural country in the world; and probably the most accepting to foreigners. Behind this, words can barely begin to describe how deeply divided America is idologically, and there are many Americans who are spending their energies and free time trying to swing the balance back from the Old Testament Conservative heartland. I would hope that in 2 weeks we see a change of power in congress and we then see proper legal investigations into the various abuses of the Bush junta. And come 2008, either Hilary or Barack would be odds-on favorite for the Presidency.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/29/2006 12:37:00 PM

who are you picking as the republican candidate?
and is barack as good as people say he is or is it largely hype? Im a little concerned the democrats might get all hyped up about someone and put forwad a candidate that is weaker than they think he is.
still I can trust the republicans to put forward someone fairly weak..

Posted by Genius : 10/29/2006 05:31:00 PM


I would imagine that the Republican candiate will either be McCain or Rudolph G. - both from the 'moderate' (excuse the scare quotes) side of the party. Whether there's a true red state conservative in the running will depend somewhat on the outcome of these congressional elections, it seems to me.

As for Barack - I'm not at all sure how much is substance and how much hype. He's certainly impressive on the surface - Harvard educated, a very good speaker, political savvy etc - but what is important is that he seems genuinely capable of igniting a passionate and broad following - something that neither Gore or Kerry really did. Even the prospect of him running has sent a buzz through the democrat constituency. I imagine he'll now have trouble NOT running...

Posted by Anonymous : 10/30/2006 03:18:00 AM