Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Waterboarding-is that all there is?

It wasn't until I watched the Democrats today on Democracy Now that I realized what is going on with the torture issue. Both the opponents and the proponents of torture are pretending that waterboarding is the only form of torture that the US is engaged in, and if it is stopped, the problem is solved.

This narrowing of the discussion is typical of Democrats in Congress. Watergate became merely "what did the President know and when did he know it?" about the break-in and nothing about the rest of the abuses of power.

Iran-Contra became merely about a single arms shipment, and not about the many abuses and illegalities of the Reagan administration.

Now the Democrats are focusing solely on waterboarding and ignoring the kidnapping, torturing, imprisonment without charges, spying, wiretapping, and all the other illegal activities of the Bush regime. I guess they feel that this is a major response to the Republicans, who focus on quibbling over the meaning of the word torture, which they consider forbidden speech. Their argument focuses on insisting that everyone use their approved phrase, "enhanced interrogation".

So we have an eloquent statement by Edward Kennedy about the Attorney General needing to uphold the law, but in the statement, he restricts his comments to waterboarding.

As Kennedy pointed out:

We are supposed to find comfort in the representation by a nominee to the highest law enforcement office in the country that he will, in fact, enforce the laws that we pass in the future? Can our standards really have sunk so low?

Enforcing the law is the job of the attorney general. It is a prerequisite, not a virtue that enhances the nominee's qualifications. Make no mistake about it: Waterboarding is already illegal under United States law.

Actually, Sen. Kennedy, all torture is illegal under US law, the Constitution, and international law. The US national security apparatus is breaking the law, and they should be prosecuted for war crimes. That's what you should be talking about here, and not merely one particular form of torture.