Monday, November 07, 2005

GEORGE W BUSH: WE DO NOT TORTURE

BUT WE MIGHT WANT TO... MAYBE... SOMEDAY...

At least that's the sense I get out of the Administrations schizophrenic position on the "McCain Torture Amendment," a defense spending authorization rider passed by the Senate last month.

Several accounts of the issue are available; for a low-vitriol one, FoxNews is good:

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,174764,00.html

From Fox: "Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people," Bush said. "Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture."

Senator McCain Demurs: "...our image in the world is suffering very badly, and one of the reasons for it is the perception that we abuse people that we take captive..."

Perceptions...

Common sense insistes any torture "ban" will be largely symbolic and will lend itself to endless second-guessing, including second-guess driven prosecutions...

But Mr President, I would offer you a thought: "Any activity we conduct is within the law..." has the distinctly Nixonian ring of "If the President does it it isn't illegal."

And we know what happened to Mr. Nixon.

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