Wednesday, July 2, 2008

America Does Not Torture

A year ago a group of high school Presidential Scholars asked President Bush to "to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants." His response. “We agree. America doesn’t torture people.” Last April we learned that Bush knew and approved of high level meetings where "harsh interrogation techniques" were discussed. This included waterboarding. This was done in order to protect the American people. I have to hand it to Christopher Hitchens. I don't agree with everything he says, but I have to tip my hat to him for this. He decided to undergo the enhanced interrogation technique--torture to the rest of the civilized world--known as waterboarding. Attorney General Mukasey says waterboarding is not clearly illegal and refused to call it torture. Vice President Cheney said using waterboarding is a "no-brainer."

Mr Hitchens's account reads like a horror story. But the video is very low key and doesn't really convey the effect, at least in my mind, of a person being tortured. I would have expected someone to be squirming and fighting. Perhaps he didn't because he knew he had an out. Perhaps he was too freaked out. I would've been.

Regardless, I have it on good authority from the President of the United States that we don't torture people. By X'ing out the definitions of torture in the dictionary and moving them under "enhanced interrogation techniques" we have legally covered ourselves. Now I can visit any foreign country and proudly proclaim that my country does not torture people. I don't know about you, but that makes me feel a whole lot better.

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