Saturday, November 12, 2005

We Do Not Torture

Leonard Pitts of the Miami Herald has a kick-ass piece up on the raging question of the day: Do We or Don't We Torture?


Well, I guess that settles that.

"We do not torture,'' President Bush said on Monday.
Never mind all those torture pictures from Abu Ghraib.
Never mind all those torture stories from Guantánamo Bay.
Never mind the 2002 Justice Department memo that sought to justify torture.

Never mind reports of U.S. officials sending detainees to other countries for torture.

Never mind Dick Cheney lobbying to exempt the CIA from rules prohibiting torture.

''We do not torture,'' said the president. And that's that, right? I mean, if you can't believe the Bush administration, who can you believe? No torture. Period, end of sentence.
But . . .

What does it say to you that the claim even has to be made?

In the name of fighting terror, we have terrorized, and in the name of defending our values, we have betrayed them. We have imprisoned Muslims in America and refused to say if we had them, why we had them or even to provide them attorneys. We have passed laws making it easier for government to snoop into what you read, who you talk to, where you go. We have equated dissent with lack of patriotism, disagreement with treason.

And we have tortured.

"We do not torture," says the president.

I can remember when that went without saying.

Hat tip to Bill in Portland Maine at dkos