Monday, November 07, 2005

torture and the state of being a banana republic

You know, it's usually tinpot dictators from banana republics like Panama who get asked about torture and human rights violations while on foreign trips. In a nifty role reversal, it was the American de facto President getting the impudent torture question while in Panama.

Bush said "we do not torture." You know, I'd like to believe our country's president when he makes such a simple declaration, but it's difficult. He went on to clarify that he opposes the proposed Senate ban on torture.

It makes me sick that we've reached a situation where the Senate even needs to CONSIDER legislation banning torture. Now, if we really did NOT torture people, you'd think the Administration wouldn't have any problem with such a law. But no, Bush went on to say that we need to keep the option available for our specially-designated torture goons in the CIA.

Bush doesn't oppose torture. He opposes laws that accurately describe what our people are doing to suspects as torture, and that try to ban it. A tortured argument.

The terrorist threat is real, and we DO need to act wisely to counter it. Never mind that our stupid invasion of Iraq has increased the terrorist threat and served as a wonderful recruiting tool. The fact is, torture is incompatible with a true democracy, is ineffective, and again, serves as a recruiting tool for terrorists.

Let's see, we have a government that was elected under dubious circumstances, is lead by the son of a former president, repeatedly and baldly lies to its people, is dominated by corrupt oil interests, promotes economic policies that enrich the elite at the expense of the regular people, condones torture and secret prisons, whose leaders use military imagery and foreign threats to attack their opponents and dampen criticism, and is conducting illegal surveillance of its own citizens.

Are we already a banana republic?