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.: September 2006 --> We live in shameful times

We live in shameful times

» The New York Times lays it on the line:

Here’s what happens when this irresponsible Congress railroads a profoundly important bill to serve the mindless politics of a midterm election: The Bush administration uses Republicans’ fear of losing their majority to push through ghastly ideas about antiterrorism that will make American troops less safe and do lasting damage to our 217-year-old nation of laws — while actually doing nothing to protect the nation from terrorists. Democrats betray their principles to avoid last-minute attack ads. Our democracy is the big loser.

Update: Dahlia Lithwick weighs in:

Last time Congress rubber-stamped a major terrorism-related law no one had bothered to read in the first place, we got the Patriot Act. [...] But that's not all. Congress doesn't want to know what it's bargaining away this week. In the Boston Globe this weekend, Rick Klein revealed that only "10 percent of the members of Congress have been told which interrogation techniques have been used in the past, and none of them know which ones would be permissible under proposed changes to the War Crimes Act." More troubling still, this congressional ignorance seems to be by choice. Klein quotes Sen. Jeff Sessions, the Alabama Republican, as saying, "I don't know what the CIA has been doing, nor should I know."

Update: Rafe weighs in, and points to a piece from former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky that eloquently lays out the personal, practical, and moral implications of sanctioning even occasional "cruel, inhumane or degrading" treatment of prisoners.

Remember when the Abu Ghraib photos shocked all of us? The story then was that a few inexperienced/rogue soldiers got away from themselves, acted on their own, that it was a complete and utter anomaly. In the last few weeks, the pro-Administration stance has been that such treatment is sometimes necessary, and that humiliation, for example, isn't that big of a deal anyway. (Read Jeff's contributions to this thread to see what I mean.)

And we have just concluded a national debate about whether we need to uphold the Geneva Conventions by codifying the President's right to authorize these very practices.

We have lost the war on torture. It's devastating.

 [ 09.28.06 ]


I'm really wondering what's going on gitmo still. There are still prisoners there, it's not likely they still have key information over the last few years since being detained.

>We live in shameful times

should be rewritten into:

we live in a shameful country



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