Most of you don't know, and even fewer of you will care, that I wore the uniform of this country in the 80's, during a singularly undistinguished tour in the USMC. I didn't particularly care for the regimentation of the Corps, and they reciprocated by bringing my tour to an early end. The discharge was honorable, but there was no love lost between the Corps and I. However, I took my oath, and the principles of the Corps very seriously. Honor, integrity, duty to unit and country, and the rules of engagement were stamped on us, with serious consequences for those who chose to ignore them.
More after the jump...
It is against this backdrop that I see Senators trying to make law that will exempt "certain agents of the United States" from the rules regarding torture. I hear of an effort to strip the meager protection of a lawyer from the Gitmo detainees. Which fucking passed. (It's interesting to note that Graham, the halfwit author of the measure, misstepped something awful and called them "enemy combatants" instead of "illegal combatants".) What? I hear about "black sites" and the hand over of terrorist suspects to governments that use torture as a matter of course. What the fuck? Uzbekistan, an ally in the war on terror, has BOILED people in its custody. Look it up. Donald Rumsfeld hailed them as a staunch ally in February 2005, just months before their aid was pulled by the State Department for human rights violations, holding that human rights rights are only one "aspect" of the US-Uzbek relationship.
Some of the "evidence" obtained from suspects in the custody of these black sites wound up in Colin Powells presentation to the UN. "Evidence" he now says was in error, and sometimes deliberately misleading. Gee, I wonder how it could be that information obtained through torture could be in error, or deliberately misleading?
Dick Cheney fought a losing battle against the McCain Amendment to prevent the mistreatment of detainees, threatening the veto of a military appropriations bill that would provide money for the war effort in Iraq. This was followed shortly thereafter by his hillbilly meat-puppet of a President, in a moment of idiocy, if not insanity, opining that "We do not torture" when the CIA report of the black sites hit the airwaves.
He says we will pursue them under the law, while keeping the status of those detained at Gitmo's Camp X-Ray...murky. Nicely done, George, you fucking moron, maybe you could put down the fifth of Jack, and have someone read you the Fifth Amendment. (Those of you that believe in the God of Christianity should get down on your knees and thank your deity that this mildly sentient fraction of a man cannot be re-elected to the office of the President of the United States.)
We are signatories to the Conventions on Torture and the Geneva Conventions, and the beacon of freedom to the world, and we have a responsibility, a duty, to be better than the opponent we face. This has nothing to do with what other countries think of us, goddamnit, this is about what we think of ourselves!! And, while I know that references to Nazis makes people (hard line conservatives) go absolutely batshit, when you get on the path of government mandated, and funded, torture and murder, that's where that road ends.