The WH Responds

And they will veto the torture ban:

The House voted Thursday to prevent the CIA from using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods that already are banned from use by the U.S. military.

The bill, which would fund and set policies for U.S. intelligence agencies, passed 222-199. It faces strong Republican opposition in the Senate. The Washington delegation voted along party lines, with Democrats voting for it and Republicans against.

Even if the Senate approves the bill, White House officials said President Bush’s advisers recommend a veto. The White House objects to the interrogation provision and other sections that would increase congressional oversight.

The legislation would require the CIA and other intelligence agencies to use only interrogation techniques authorized for the military in the U.S. Army Field Manual on Human Intelligence Collector Operations.

Shocking, I know.

It is important to remember WHY this bill even needed to be passed- because the White House, while claiming the United States does not torture, privately allows it. Torture already is illegal, now we have to go through and specify which specific acts are considered torture because the WH can not and will not act in good faith. Imagine this scenario:

You are driving to your family vacation. Your children are in the back seat misbehaving. You tell the kids to “stop picking on each other and behave.” Your son then pokes your daughter in the eye. She screams. You chastise your son, and he says “You said we had to stop picking on each other, and I did. I POKED her instead.”

“Fine, you scream. No picking or poking each other or I will pull this car over!”

Five minutes go by, and your daughter screams again. It turns out he pinched her to the point of bruising. Your son, in his defense, states ‘You said no picking and poking, but nothing about pinching.”

You drive your car at 80 miles an hour into a highway underpass.

This is what is going on with the current Bush administration, except in this case, the obnoxious son has veto power. Bush is a petulant child surrounded by a coterie of scared men who seem to think the world is so dangerous they need not act in accordance to established law, and they really don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks. They want all the benefits of pretending to be the world’s moral authority, all the while behaving like despots. January 2009 can not come fast enough.

Is it optimal that the “enemy” will have access to military manuals broadly outlining our interrogation techniques? Probably not, but they already HAVE access to these manuals. But it is important to recognize why we are here- this administration.






23 replies
  1. 1
    4tehlulz says:

    But it isn’t torture when we do it, so what’s the problem?

  2. 2
    OxyCon says:

    One day the Repubs vote “for Christmas”. The next day they vote “for Torture”.
    So the Repubs are “pro Jesus” and “pro Torture”.
    It doesn’t even enter into their pointy little heads that Jesus was tortured to death.

  3. 3
    Teak111 says:

    As a family man, that is a great anaolgy. And, John, you’ve said it many times, Bush is the “I’ll do whatever the fuck I wanna do,” President. That behavior can only get worse as his time in office, thankfully, comes to an end.

  4. 4
    4tehlulz says:

    It doesn’t even enter into their pointy little heads that Jesus was tortured to death.

    What makes you so sure? It might be the part of Christianity they like the best.

  5. 5
    bob says:

    Apparently the US interrogation manual was written by Torquemada and updated by John Negroponte.

  6. 6
    InnerMarker says:

    Our republic is unraveling before our very eyes, and the Republicans seem blindingly unaware. But I guess one shouldn’t be surprised given the medieval mindset of the party’s leadership.

  7. 7
    Tom G says:

    This is a slight threadjack (sorry), but why on earth are there NO URL links in news stories to the ACTUAL LEGISLATION passed?? Sometimes news will actually mention the HR # of a bill but not always. This site

    http://thomas.loc.gov/

    can give information about bill voting and text, provided you have a number. I believe there is at least one other trustworthy source of this information.

    So I ask – WHY are no news organizations providing links?

  8. 8
    Zifnab says:

    You drive your car at 80 miles an hour into a highway underpass.

    Intentionally?

  9. 9
    Jen says:

    You didn’t *really* used to be at RedState, did you, Cole? (I can’t check the archives. They have sealed me off from their wisdom due to my, er, poking, and then pinching them.) If you did, you really scrubbed the Cheeto grit off well. I’m proud of you.

    You know, if John Freakin’ McCain were in my party, I’d feel just a tiny bit sheepish about taking stands on torture that he has explicitly condemned, but I guess it’s that little bit o’ shame that makes me…not a Republican.

  10. 10
    Seanly says:

    John ~

    Are you sure you were ever a Republican? You sound a look like me.

  11. 11
    Chad N. Freude says:

    You know, if John Freakin’ McCain were in my party, I’d feel just a tiny bit sheepish about taking stands on torture that he has explicitly condemned

    And if I were McCain, I’d be more than sheepish about remaining a member of that party.

  12. 12
    mclaren says:

    There’s more to it than just the drunk-driving Jeffrey Dahmer wannabe in the Oval Office. America’s love affair with torture has been bubbling underneath the surface for a while now.

    Did you notice how the TV show Alias delectated in torture? Lots ‘n lots of torture, right from the pilot TV movie in 1999. That was long before 9/11 or the guys in the WH. Then there’s the FOX show 24. 2 years before 9/11 they were broadcasting episodes showing plenty of torture — and torture committed by our very own hero, Jack Bauer.

    Then there are those revolting scenes that seem to have become obligatory, like the one in TURE LIES where Arnold gets handcuffed and the evil Muslim doctor put on sleeve-length rubber gloves and a butcher’s apron and starts to pick up his torture implements and explain their function. IN the early 90s showing guys’ and girls’ naked butts on TV represented the cutting edge, but by the mid-90s the cutting edge had become torture scenes. There’s just been an awful lot of this stuff in the American media, all over American TV and marinating American cinema for more than 10 years now. America’s adoring fascinated love affair with torture can’t just be blamed on the current maladministration, it goes back longer than that. There’s something deeper going on here. Americans really seem to love this stuff, and the fascination is recent, and alarming.

  13. 13
    DeLiberate says:

    Bush is a petulant child surrounded by a coterie of scared men who seem to think the world is so dangerous they need not act in accordance to established law, and they really don’t give a shit what anyone else thinks.

    Yes this is bad but but its not like worse things don’t happen in US prisons every single day. Why don’t you worry about that instead of what’s happening to a few foreigners who would have been treated worse in their own countries?

    WAKE UP!

  14. 14
    Chad N. Freude says:

    mclaren —

    Don’t forget the success of the movie franchises Saw I, II, III, … and Hostel I, II, III, …

    Let’s all sing a rousing chorus of “That’s Entertainment”.

  15. 15
    Dreggas says:

    OxyCon Says:

    One day the Repubs vote “for Christmas”. The next day they vote “for Torture”.
    So the Repubs are “pro Jesus” and “pro Torture”.
    It doesn’t even enter into their pointy little heads that Jesus was tortured to death.

    Why do republicans want to torture the baby jesus?

  16. 16
    RSA says:

    Americans really seem to love this stuff, and the fascination is recent, and alarming.

    I don’t know how recent it is; Quentin Tarantino made his name with Reservoir Dogs back in 1992, and of course there are lots of earlier examples of torture in the movies. I think you’re right about the fascination with/glorification of torture, though. Among horror movie fans, there’s a certain subgenre that goes by the name of “torture porn”. I’m amazed that it’s so mainstream.

  17. 17
    jcricket says:

    And if I were McCain, I’d be more than sheepish about remaining a member of that party.

    If you want to talk about the real torture enablers it’s the Republican Senators like McCain and Specter. They provide a level of cover by caving every time to the Republican leadership on these issues.

    Honestly, I welcome the increasingly stark difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. Sure, the Democrats aren’t doing a good job articulating those differences, but hopefully that’s a short-term problem.

    From what I can see, the net result of the GOP sprint to the right is that “moderate” Republicans who haven’t yet hit the big time are switching to the Democratic party in numbers that have never been before. Look at this map of the suburban areas around Seattle and you can see the future of the GOP.

    Everyone I know who voted reliably Republican because of “tax” or “security” issues is saying things like John Cole. Sure, there’s the 20-30% crazies that actually want more Huckabees, Tancredos, Hunters and Brownbacks. But that’s going to turn off an entire generation of non-wingnuts to the party. What’s especially important are the critical 20 and 30 something potential candidates who will be so turned off, they’ll run as Democrats (or not at all).

    Sure, nothing’s permanent, but the GOP shows no slowdown in their embrace of their anti-science, anti-progress, all-war, pro-torture, hate the darkies agenda.

  18. 18
    TenguPhule says:

    And Dear Leader drives another stake into the heart of Democracy.

    So this is how freedom dies, in thunderous applause.

  19. 19
    Tax Analyst says:

    Zifnab Says:

    You drive your car at 80 miles an hour into a highway underpass.

    Intentionally?

    Yes, it was necessary to drive into that highway underpass at 80mph…People suspected of being Known Terr-rer-rists were using this highway to transport yellowcake with lemon icing to other people suspected of being Known Terr-rer-rists. One of the Suspected Known Terr-rer-rists OWN Suspected Known Operatives admitted as much when we tightened the vice grips on his nuts a couple notches.

    See? Torture Works. No telling how many people would have died if we hadn’t used aggressively harsh interrogation tactics on that Suspected Known Terr-rer-rist Operative.

    Let me know when my Medal of Freedom is ready and I’ll arrange to pick it up.

  20. 20
    Punchy says:

    How does one spin vetoing a ban on torture? Can’t wait to see this one.

  21. 21
    Pb says:

    How does one spin vetoing a ban on torture?

    National security. We must shred the Constitution before the terrorists get their hands on it!

  22. 22
    Chris says:

    How does one spin vetoing a ban on torture?

    It’s admittedly harder, since the media finally picked up the torture ball and ran with it.

    But the fact of the matter is that Bush is stuck in his own world. He can’t even sense these opposing positions.

    I wonder if he’s surprised when he reads these bills. Surprised, as if they had stated “The sky is red and squares are round.” I think these differing lines of thought are inconceivable to him.

  23. 23
    WE ALL FALL DOWN says:

    National security. We must shred the Constitution before the terrorists get their hands on it!

    YEEOUCH!

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