Waterboarding a-ok!

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I don’t know why it still surprises me but it does.  Bush vetoed a bill that would have outlawed waterboarding by Feds like the CIA. 

I don’t know what part of this troubles me most.  the contenders for most troubling are: 

“We have no higher responsibility than stopping terrorist attacks,” he added. “And this is no time for Congress to abandon practices that have a proven track record of keeping America safe.” 

Actually, torture has been empirically shown not to be effective.  People say whatever you want them to say when they are being tortured which more often leads to bad information than good.

The next nominee for most troubling is:

Democrats, who supported the legislation as part of a larger bill that authorized a vast array of intelligence programs, criticized the veto sharply, but they do not have the votes to override it.

We cannot convince 60 Congresspeople that torture should be outlawed?  I can’t believe this is where we are politically in this country. 

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One Response to Waterboarding a-ok!

  1. LB — I think your outrage stems from varying definitions of torture, not just in international law but also in Congressional deliberations. The fact that McCain flip-flopped and voted “no” on this bill (saying that “the legislation would have limited the C.I.A.’s ability to gather intelligence”) indicates that the rhetoric in the debate over torture continues to be distorted for political reasons, preventing real policy choices from ever being made. More precisely, Bush defines torture narrowly based on a conservative reading of international law whereas the Democrats presume that the term refers to a much more expansive set of interrogation techniques. There is little international legal precedent to clarify this question and, even if there were, it’s not likely that Congress would care.

    There will be no override because that would require a diverse coalition drawing on members of both parties who, at present, seem unwilling to re-frame the debate outside of overblown political slogans like “presidential power” and “torture.”

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