Friday, September 08, 2006

'Values' We Have to Hide Abroad

In response to the President's tortured reasons for rationalizing torture, Eugine Robinson of the Washington Post observes:

'Values' We Have to Hide Abroad:

"Why not hold the suspects, say, in one of the many super-secure facilities in and around Washington? They would be much more accessible to the CIA, the FBI, the Pentagon and any other agency that wanted a crack at them. And since al-Qaeda is already determined to attack the United States, why even risk creating potential problems for loyal overseas allies? Why not interrogate America's deadliest enemies on American soil?

Since the president didn't address this question, I'll try. The only reason that makes any sense to me is that the Decider wanted to put his secret prisons beyond the reach of U.S. courts. I think the president and his lawyers knew from the beginning that detaining suspects indefinitely and wringing information out of them with methods that international agreements define as torture -- "an alternative set of procedures" was the president's delicate euphemism -- wouldn't amuse even the most law-and-order federal judge.

The full story of what has taken place at Guantanamo Bay and in the CIA's overseas prisons will come out someday. But even with the little we know so far, I remain convinced that history will view these acts of arbitrary detention, extraordinary rendition and coercive interrogation with strong censure and deep shame. The president's claim that "the United States does not torture" comes with an asterisk, since his definition of torture is as tortured as Bill Clinton's definition of "is." "

Me, I kinda wonder how many of those nameless, secret prisoners were pretty girls and boys, and what "cutting brush" might be a euphamisim for.

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