Suspended two weeks for birth control
pill in school, girl discovers penalty
for heroin possession is only one week.
Waterboarding is torture. It has been so defined and accepted as torture since the Spanish Inquisition. It was a problem when we fought in the Philippines. We punished very severly Japanese soldiers for inflicting it on our soldiers. A Sheriff in Texas was even more recently punished for it. There simply is no cogent argument that can make it into something else. Republican attempts to deny this just do not matter.
For example, one of the claims they have tried to make is that, according to the legal advice provided to Bush/Cheney waterboarding is not torture. The fact is that Bush/Cheney hired lawyers to specifically change the legal definitions of torture so they could (presumably) go ahead and do whatever they wished. Because these lawyers were hired to do what they were told to do, their interpretations simply do not matter.
Then there is Republican, especially Cheney’s attempt, to argue that torture (enhanced interrogation methods) worked. It will, I am sure, be impossible for them to prove in any meaningful sense that it worked. But even if they did somehow prove that it worked, it simply does not matter. Torture is torture whether it works or not. This is an argument so juvenile and absurd as to not be taken seriously.
These Republicans who want to try to justify torture also say that Democrats were informed about it and so they are just as responsible for the torture as Republicans. I don’t know what Democrats were informed of, or whether they bear any responsibility or not. What I do know is that even if they do, it just plain and simply doesn’t matter. You cannot justify torture by saying others were aware of or engaging in it.
These are all just pathetic attempts on the part of the guilty to obfuscate and confuse everyone in order to try to make these accusations go away. Bush/Cheney/Rumsfeld/Rice and others deliberately conspired to bring about legal excuses to justify something that has been blatantly illegal for centuries. Now they have been caught in the act and have no reasonable justification for what they did. I cannot believe that in the United States, in the year 2009, people are actually arguing about whether torture is torture and whether anyone should be punished for it. Even the argument that they were merely doing what they felt was their patriotic duty is false and does not matter. In fact, they did not do it out of patriotism, but, rather, out of their need to justify attacking Iraq, a known war crime. There is no way any thinking person could possibly believe these people have been acting patriotically for the last eight years, rather than in their own and their party’s self-interest.
Even the argument that we should just let bygones be bygones and not prosecute anyone because it will cause divisions in the body politic and look like revenge, does not matter. It doesn’t matter because our own laws require that it be investigated and, if necessary, prosecuted. We can refuse to do this but only by breaking the law ourselves and becoming a party to these criminal acts. As we boast of being a nation of laws, I do not see how investigation and prosecutions can be avoided without destroying whatever little credibility we have left in the world. Are we really willing to do this?
I understand why President Obama has to pretend to not want to pursue this because he is otherwise too busy or does not wish to appear revengeful or create more division in the nation. Although I understand it, I personally think it is wrong. I believe he should just stick to the truth. These people did horrible and illegal things and should be held accountable. He should just say so, and let Holder and Congress get on with the details. Pretending and procrastinating will quite likely just make things worse.
What the world needs is not dogma but an attitude of scientific inquiry combined with a belief that the torture of millions is not desirable, whether inflicted by Stalin or by a Deity imagined in the likeness of the believer.
The largest American alligator ever recorded was 19 feet, 2 inches.