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"...public opinion deserves to be respected as well as despised" G.W.F. Hegel, 'Philosophy of Right'

maximizing Presidential power « Previous | |Next »
September 18, 2006

Tom Malinowski in an op. ed. in the Washington Post says that the Bush Administration is trying to legalize torture:

President Bush is urging Congress to let the CIA keep using "alternative" interrogation procedures -- which include, according to published accounts, forcing prisoners to stand for 40 hours, depriving them of sleep and use of the "cold cell," in which the prisoner is left naked in a cell kept near 50 degrees and doused with cold water.Bush insists that these techniques are not torture -- after all, they don't involve pulling out fingernails or applying electric shocks. He even says that he "would hope" the standards he's proposing are adopted by other countries.

It's a defining moment for the US. Will Congress find the political will and courage to block the President in his attempt to water down Article 3 of the Geneva Convention with its protections against prisoner mistreatment? The bill would also ratify the President's views on military commissions, restrict the ability of defendants to see the evidence used to convict them, eliminate the use of habeas corpus and the ability of an independent judiciary to inquire into the legality of the detention and treatment (or mistreatment) of human beings held at Guantanamo Bay.

Another bill before Congress would legalize the President's NSA domestic surveillance program and insulate it from judicial review. Will Congress stand firm against this bill? This is a real choice facing Congress and the American people. The first bill gives authorization to breach the Geneva Conventions by engaging in what is manifestly "cruel treatment" . . . and in some cases, to do what virtually anyone would consider, simply, "torture."

| Posted by Gary Sauer-Thompson at 10:00 PM | | Comments (2)


I am strongly opposed to almost anything that issues from Bush's stupid mouth. That is when I can understand what that most inarticulate of men says.
What I find most repugnant is his attitude toward torture and his fumbling defense of it. He has not the intelligence nor the preparation in political science or history to know anything about its use in the past. He is beyond worrying about any consequences he might bring about. He feels omnipotent and his sycophantic followers only boost those feelings. We are in terrible danger with this man and his government. They are leading our country down the road to ruin.

that indicates the choice Congress faces doesn't it.John Yoo's defence or justification for this was that war shifts power to the branch most responsible for its waging: the executive. All the Bush adminstration is doing is simply restoring power of the executive that was unwisely diminished in the past 30 years.

That makes the issue clear for Congress doesn't it. Does it stand firm or rollover?