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Waterboarding could be Bush's Watergate - Comments (0)
Carole McWilliams - 2/21/2008
Richard M. Nixon's presidency was brought down by Watergate.
Now it looks like George W. Bush's presidency could be brought down by Waterboarding - except that he and Dick Cheney are probably too close to the end of their time in office for that to happen.
The questions about waterboarding and torture ... e ... ''enhanced interrogation,'' just aren't going away, thanks to those pesky congressional Democrats who don't think that the world's supposed beacon of freedom should be doing that sort of thing.
Back around 2002, Bush cronies were issuing memos and legal opinions that ''enhanced interrogation'' was okay, and fudging the definition of torture so it didn't include what they were sanctioning.
Those memos and opinions got withdrawn when they started becoming a PR problem.
I think that was related to the Abu Ghraib scandal, where a few low level grunts (bad apples, they were called) took the rap while superior officers, Pentagon officials and Bush-Cheney cronies (not to mention Bush and Cheney themselves) got off scott free despite promoting a climate of the end justifies the means.
End justifies the means has included ''enhanced interrogation'' where prisoners died, in Iraq and Afghanistan. It has included US agents kidnapping people in other countries and sending them to countries where they would be tortured (extraordinary rendition).
In December 2005, congress approved a funding bill that included a specific ban on torture, attached by John McCain. Then we found out that was one of many bills where Bush attached a signing note proclaiming that the provision didn't apply to him or anyone under his command.
Last year, waterboarding and torture brought down US Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, one of the Bush insiders who proclaimed back in 2002 that those things were okay and they weren't torture anyway.
Waterboarding was a major issue as the Senate considered approval of Gonzales's replacement, Michael Mukasey. Mukasey insisted he didn’t know enough about waterboarding to say if it was torture.
My thought right then was that he needed to experience it personally. I think waterboarding would be an excellent tool whenever congress is trying to get some Bush insider to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, about whatever.
Like the CIA destruction in 2005 of those torture session videos from back in 2002. Maybe if those tapes still existed, we could see that what happened wasn't torture. But if it wasn’t torture, there would be no need to destroy the evidence.
Mukasey and one of Bush's current media mouthpieces have implied or said outright that the stuff on those tapes was legal when it was done.
Sorry, but just because Bush cronies (or Bush himself) say something is legal, doesn’t mean it is! Remember that Bush has proclaimed the power to ignore the laws (eg. FISA) and the Constitution whenever they are inconvenient.
Congress has voted again to ban the use of torture in interrogations, and Bush is threatening a veto.
We are told the three men on the destroyed torture videos were the worst of the worst, responsible for the 9-11 attacks. Sure, but some others were victims of circumstance. Even if they all were 9-11 conspirators, this isn't about what kind of people THEY are.
It's about who WE are.
The things we do become a part of who we are, both as individuals and as a nation. Bush and Cheney have added something really ugly to what we are as a nation.
If saying that offends anyone, it should.