'Maverick' GOP Senators Cave to Torture President
Wow, what mavericks! Those courageous, rebel Republican senators are at it again. They showed Bush a thing or two. Now, he wants be able to maim, rape and mutilate detainees. That ought to show him.
On the torture issue, the senators basically pretended to get a concession when the president said he would not reinterpret the Geneva Conventions ... when it comes to "grave breaches." But anything other than a grave breach the president has free reign to interpret and reinterpret any damn way he pleases.
First, let's go over what the "grave breaches" are: torture, cruel or inhuman treatment, performing biological experiments, murder, mutilation or maiming, rape, causing serious bodily injury, and sexual assault or abuse, and taking hostages.
Great, we won't be doing biological experiments on the detainees anymore. Since cruel and inhuman treatment's definition is not spelled out, this leaves us exactly where we were before. The president can order waterboarding, sleep deprivation, extreme temperatures, physical abuse, etc., etc. It's all cool as long as no one is getting raped or mutilated. Are we not merciful?
In the end, what did the brave maverick Republican senators get on the torture issue? Bupkus!
And what was their reaction? Bend over, smile and pretend to be rebels. I thought sexual abuse wasn't permitted anymore under the new guidelines. So, I guess it was consensual.
Oh yeah, they did get one more powerful concession. The president promises to put up a list of the different torture tactics he thinks are acceptable in an executive order at a date to be determined later. Except of course, Stephen Hadley has already said they will not do that because specific interrogation techniques will remain secret. Ooops. There goes that.
Speaking of Stephen Hadley, he also said the one real concession the senators got on the other issue - letting the defendants see evidence they are being charged with - might also be a head fake. He says they might reconsider that later. Of course!!!
This is a president you can't trust on anything. I mean that literally. On this very issue, the president has lied before and said he would agree to a compromise worked out on torture before - and then reneged on the deal by attaching a signing statement to the bill saying he would not follow the wording on torture. The man just can't get enough of torture. He is an addict. Even these high profile interventions can't stop him.
Maybe we need to bring in a heavy hitter to take care of this problem. The same man who helped Bush beat his other addictions - Jesus Christ. Though, there is some chance if Jesus himself came down and told Bush to stop torturing people, he still wouldn't do it. Cheney would convince him Jesus was soft on defense.
For kicks, the senators also threw in the concession that the prisoners will not be able to enforce any rights they might have because they will be held in a lawless state. Again, this is literal. They will have no right to habeas corpus. No recourse to the courts. They will only have the legendary compassion of George Bush to comfort them.
So, in the end, the president who started out by claiming to be a compassionate conservative will go down in history as The Torture President. Just when you thought Bush's legacy couldn't get any worse.