Thursday, February 14, 2008

Bush to Veto Any Limits on His Right to Waterboard

How far down the rabbit hole does one have to go on this issue before becoming completely disoriented? It turns out, not far, but Congress' latest act sent the populace plunging. The New York Times reported:

The Senate voted Wednesday to ban waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods that have been used by the Central Intelligence Agency against high-level terrorism suspects. The vote, following House passage of the measure in December, set up a confrontation with President Bush, who has threatened to veto it.

The Senate action is the latest chapter in a long-running battle between the Democratic majority in Congress and the Bush administration over the treatment of detainees, an issue certain to play a role in the presidential election campaign.

The leading Republican presidential candidate, Senator John McCain of Arizona, a former prisoner of war who steadfastly opposes the use of torture, voted against the bill. Mr. McCain said the ban would limit the C.I.A.’s ability to gather intelligence. “We always supported allowing the C.I.A. to use extra measures,” he said.

At the same time, he said that he believed “waterboarding is illegal and should be banned” and that the agency must adhere to existing federal law and international treaties.

The White House again said Mr. Bush intended to veto the bill, on the ground that it would interfere with successful intelligence gathering. And Tony Fratto, a presidential spokesman, said that at least in the case of waterboarding, Democrats were criticizing a method that American interrogators no longer used.

Whoa! McCain says waterboarding is illegal, a violation of federal law and international treaties and he voted against the bill? White House mouthpiece Fratto looks like a fool for saying "it's a method interrogators no longer use." How do we know? It took Bush 4-5 years to confess to its past use. Tony, it's still on the menu for use. Why else is George W. going to veto the bill?

How many years has torture been the top topic? At least three, if my recollection is correct. No wonder American government is despised around the world. We're supposed to be the shining light. Not any more. It's now clear John McCain can't lead us from our dark place. And the Supreme Court is no help at all.

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