Nothing like getting things started on an upbeat note, so here goes…
Ted Kennedy, my very own senior Senator, wrote a piece for Salon in which he discusses the Administration’s less-than-stellar record on torture. Among other things, he mentions the legislation he’s sponsoring which would clarify the law in this particular area. Please take a look at the bill (it’s short, I promise) before reading any further.
Now then. On the one hand, I think we can agree that the methods banned by this bill are good things to ban. (And just to save everyone a lot of time and bother, if you don’t find these tactics worth banning, my posts probably aren’t going to be your particular cup of chai.) The thing that disturbs the hell out of me is that one of the more prominent members of the US Senate actually has to write a bill laying out in blunt terms that these things are bad. Not only that, but that there’s a better than decent chance that this bill won’t pass, and even if it does, that the Administration will attach a signing statement and toss it down the memory hole.
If someone had told you seven years ago that Congress would soon be considering a bill the purpose of which was to make sure that American soldiers and intelligence agents wouldn’t electrocute, beat, or fake-drown prisoners, would you have believed it possible? Certainly it’s been a long time since I was naive enough to believe that America has never done anything even morally grey, let alone lousy, but I still thought there were at least a few lines we wouldn’t cross. Torturing people was one of those lines.
That’s the single reason I’m most pissed off at the current Administration, I think. Seven years ago, I had a pretty good grasp on what America meant. Now I’m not nearly as sure, and that drives me up the wall.
Fortunately enough, being driven up the wall tends to make me write, so I imagine there’ll be no shortage of posts in the near future. Hopefully they’ll be worth reading.