Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The torturer-in-chief

Dick Cheney continues to live up to his first name.  On the rounds this week hawking his new book, the name of which I refuse to give here, Cheney insists that he has "no regrets" over his enthusiastic advocacy of torture.  Never mind that it is illegal under international and U.S. law.  Cheney obeys a higher law - that of his own selfish chicken-hawk interest.

He maintains that torturing helpless prisoners is "safe, legal, and effective" and that he would "strongly support" water-boarding if actionable information could be wrung out of a prisoner.  (And just how would you know in advance that such information could be elicited, Dick?)  How are any of his actions and stated views different from the Nazi war criminals who were tried and executed for similar crimes after World War II?

Torture is illegal - full stop.  There is no "debate" to be had about it.  You might as well open up for debate whether rape, murder, or child abuse are "safe, legal, and effective."  Perhaps Cheney keeps pressing his point so tiresomely because he knows that he is legally culpable.  If this country and the world actually chose to ENFORCE the laws against torture, Dick Cheney, and many of his cohorts including his boss, would be in prison for the rest of their natural (or, in Cheney's case, unnatural)  lives.  Perhaps there are some vacant cells in Guantanamo that could be used to house them.

If possible, even more chilling than the damage done to individual prisoners is the damage done by the Cheney-Bush cabal to the rule of law in America.  So long as we allow war criminals like these to go free and unpunished, for just that long, we have totally repudiated the rule of law.  For if we do not have the courage to enforce our laws, we are truly at the mercy of monsters like Cheney, and old John Adams, who once said that the United States was intended to be a government of laws and not of men, must be weeping in his grave.

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