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Greg

Here are two other takes on the issue of torture. The first one coming from ex-President George H Bush. It was made during an interview with Fox News. It pretty much showed how we as America use to have the moral high ground on this issue, and how we as Americans use to be viewed and judged throughout the whole world. These were the standards that we use to stand by as a country.

FOXNews Sunday: Poppy Bush Gets Emotional Remembering How We USED To Treat Prisoners
http://www.crooksandliars.com/2007/11/04/foxnews-sunday-poppy-bush-gets-emotional-remembering-how-we-used-to-treat-prisoners/

The next clip comes from Andrew Sullivan (yes the gay, republican who was a right wing darling till he differed with those that love George W Bush). Well, in this post Sullivan dishes about the term so often used by the Bush Administration. That term being "enhanced interrogation". Here is what Sullivan posted:

"enhanced interrogation techniques.' I'm not sure where exactly this came from, but George Tenet seems to have been the tipping point. But it's important to note that Tenet has a very personal interest in lying about torture. After all, he will be subject to war crime charges if he concedes that he authorized it. But in his rewording, he has also, it seems to me, conceded something very important. He was clearly concerned that the term "coercive" in the newspeak phrase "coercive interrogation techniques" could be legal peril. It implies physical or mental pressure so severe it renders any choice to cooperate moot. It implies, inevitably, "severe mental or physical pain or suffering," in order to extract information. That is the only relevant legal and moral criterion for torture. Is the information coerced, i.e. is the physical or mental suffering so severe that the victim has no choice but to tell the torturers what the want to hear? If it is, it's torture, under American and international law. And Tenet is a criminal."

When a commenter asked as to where this term came from, Sullivan simply answered:

"Well, "enhanced interrogation techniques" is a fairly decent English translation of the Gestapo euphemism "verschaerfte Vernehmung" which was the code word for torture in the Third Reich. Look it up."

Bill

It is very easy to condemn torture. It is very hard to define what is and is not torture. It is possible to have coercion that does not fall under the definition of torture. It is also possible to have anything other than coddling fall under the definition of torture. The problem is not in the word torture, it is that it means different things to each person and there is no common definition. Everyone is right and every one is wrong.

Greg

Hard to define what is and what is not torture?? Since when has this been so? There was never a question to what is and what is not torture until this administration came into office. Now we have an Attorney General who claims he does not, or cannot comment on whether water-boarding is torture. Rudy Gulliani who was a good prosecutor took the same vague view on water-boarding. I ask, how far have we slipped as a country in which these things are even questionable?

Just to drive this point home. In England a few months ago, John Bellinger the top legal adviser within the US state department. The man who counsels Condoleezza Rice, on international law, declined to rule out the use of the interrogation technique known as waterboarding. He declined to comment even if it were applied by foreign intelligence services on US citizens. Bellinger refused to denounce the technique, which has been condemned by human rights groups as a form of torture. So in the mind of those in the Bush Administration foreign governments are free to waterboard American citizens. Mind you we prosecuted people in the past for this practice as a war crime. And now we are uncertain about the procedure?

Here is another example of this new vague look we have on the issue of torture and how far we have slipped as a country. Recently the United States went into a British Court and claimed we now had the right to outright kidnap British citizens. Now before one starts talking about terrorist, they were not talking about terror suspects, they are talking about white collar criminals in a fraud case. This is not Al-Quada, it is English bankers.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/world/us_and_americas/article2982640.ece
http://www.nowpublic.com/crime/us-says-it-can-kidnap-british-citizens-home

Finally we have Donald Rumsfeld and 13 CIA agents having arrest warrants drawn on them for possible war crimes. It is believed that Runsfeld recently fled from France due to such arrest warrant and issue of war crimes. This was a high member of our government, and not a major peep out of the so-called liberal media. I am sure if it was Sandy Berger or someone else from the Clinton Administration we would still be hearing about this from Rush, Sean, and Fox News. I ask, is this the America that we want to live in? What happened to the moral high ground in which George H Bush spoke about in the Fox Clip I provided? Of course Papa Bush served in the military, so he is somewhat more clear on the issue of torture than such chickenhawks such as Cheney, Bush, and the rest whom are unclear on this issue. I find it so interesting how both Colin Powell, and John McCain have no trouble in what is and what is not torture.

My point is simply this. I love this country, and I remember when we used to be better than this. The silence and the spin I hear from Republicans makes me sick. The unwillingness of Democrats to stand up and call a spade a spade and demand that as a country we are better than this sometimes makes me regret voting for any of them last election. Outside a small few, I see no one out there really standing up representing the country and the principles we use to live by.

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