"WASHINGTON -- The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the Geneva Convention that explicitly bans 'humiliating and degrading treatment,' according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further, potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human rights standards."
Who the hell are we as Americans? We are now a culture that tortures and says it is ok. That scares me badly. It isn't the America I was brought up with. Meanwhile, today, Bush stood up and supported the anti-gay marriage amendment that can't possibly pass to appeal to people who think that is a bigger issue than torture. Let's be clear. If Christian values don't oppose torture or mistreatment of our enemies, then there are no Christian values! Then it is just the old stand-by--hate your enemy, treat your enemy the way they treat others, not the way you would like them to treat you. Love only your friends. Despise your enemies.
Hell, I understand why that is the President's stance. Hell of a lot easier than actually following the words of Christ.
Andrew Sullivan is furious.
Can you believe what you're reading? This is not some tight exclusion for a handful of CIA officials to torture detainees. This is a carte blanche for the military as a whole. The argument is the same that we have always had:
"But top administration officials contend that after the Sept. 11 attacks, old customs do not apply, especially to a fight against terrorists or insurgents who never play by the rules. "The overall thinking," said the participant familiar with the defense debate, "is that they need the flexibility to apply cruel techniques if military necessity requires it."
The United States is a rogue nation that practices torture and detainee abuse and does not follow the most basic principles of the Geneva Conventions. It is inviolation of human rights agreements and the U.N. Convention against torture. It is legitimizing torture by every disgusting regime on the planet. This is a policy mandated by the president and his closest advisers. This is the signal being sent from the commander-in-chief to his troops: your enemy can be treated beyond the boundaries of what the U.S. has always abided by. When you next read of an atrocity of war-crime or victim of torture by the U.S., just keep in mind who made this possible.
I made a serious mistake the other day and flipped past Fox when John Gibson was on. This idiot makes Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity appear smart and reasonable. His big point about Haditha? That the media would not also react to the insurgents killing school children. These people at Fox and evidently in our administration want to drag us down to the level of terrorists--because that is now our standard. Every horrible thing done in Abu Ghraib or Gitmo is justifiable because terrorists do worse.
It makes me sad. America has always tried to model itself after higher ideals. We are supposed to be better, goddamnit. We are supposed to be better than terrorists--way better. We sure as hell aren't supposed to torture.
This isn't even close to right.