Thursday, October 06, 2005

John McCain Anti-Torture Amendment

Finally, somebody has taken action to try to stop the U.S. Military from being the world's foremost advocate and practitioner of torture. John McCain, who was tortured while he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam, authored an amendment to a military appropriations bill. It is the mildest, most conservative language possible. McCain didn't try to define torture or impose any new standards. He cited the U.S. Army Field Manual on detention and interrogation, which was revised in April 2005 to specifically prohibit the abuses that were highlighted at Abu Graib. The amendment would give those rules the authority of federal law. Most importantly, it is a statement of intent by the Senate. It remains to be seen whether the House of Representatives will join the Senate in making this statement to the world. The White House has indicated that Bush might veto the appropriations bill if the anti-torture language is attached to it. That's not something that happens a lot, a military appropriations bill being vetoed. It's a strong statement by Bush that he favors the use of torture, and it is an indication that even if the law is passed it would not be vigorously enforced. Nevertheless, this amendment is a light in the darkness and it lifted my spirits briefly this morning. God bless John McCain.


Sara said...

Bush is really starting to get on my bad side. I've always been a Bush supporter because he has a lot of the same ideals/beliefs/views that I have, but it seems like he's just laying down on the job. He knows that he can't be re-elected so he's stopped trying to be an effective and compassionate leader. I think that's one of the problems with the 2-term limit. If they know that they can be relected, they'll never stop trying to be a good leader, but as it stands once they are in the last two years of their last term they just lay down on the job because public opinion doesn't matter to them anymore. And what happens when you have an amazing President and after two terms he's not allowed to run anymore and you're left with two mediocre candidates? That will most likely happen someday (it kind of already has--the Bush v. Kerry election didn't have the most stellar candidates in my opinion, but at least we didn't have to say goodbye to a really great President for those two to run). I think if a President is great and the public wants him in office he should be allowed to run again. I'm not a fan of the 2-term limit. /end political rant

Read/Think/Live said...

See, Sara, you can be political if you let yourself.

I'm pretty sick of the "politics of polarization" myself, but this torture issue is pure good v. evil the way I look at it. How can the Leader of the Free World be in favor of the use of torture? It is just wrong, and the more I research it, the stronger I feel about it.

Sara said...

I agree with you. (Though I do think if the fate of the world rested on one terrorist's knowledge I might be more lenient in order to save the world.) But in all other circumstances, such as POW's, I completely disagree with any and all torture.