Bush may veto anti-torture law


Updated: 21 May 2008, 23:10

Originally written: 08 November 2005


United States President George W. Bush, says “we do not torture” prisoners, and their interrogations are conducted “within the law.”

90 percent of a Republican majority Senate is not quite so sure. The senators felt the need last month to pass a new anti-torture law.

Vice President Dick Cheney unsuccessfully tried to convince the senators not to tie the hands of the United States by preventing it from torturing prisoners. As a fallback plan, he is trying to get the CIA (Central Intelligence Agency) explicitly exempted from the law. President Bush is threatening to veto the bill. Bush wants legal flexibility.

The United States has already been proven to have tortured its prisoners in the so-called “war on terror.” Remember Abu Ghraib prison?

One must wonder exactly what flexibility the President wants. It seems that he wants the flexibility to not torture prisoners, and to interrogate them legally, as long as it is not against the law to torture them.

If some tin-pot dictator came up with that, everyone would know that there was torture. Anyone with any sense now knows that Bush believes that the United States tortures its prisoners of war. Because the President believes it, and he has access to those who should know, we must reasonably believe that the United States tortures its prisoners of war.

But wait! Bush tells us that there is “an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again,” so that makes everything okay from his perspective. It sounds as if Bush expects that the torture will be proven and he is building up a fall-back line. When it turned out that the weapons of mass destruction which the President knew existed in Iraq, somehow got lost before the United States could find them, Bush fell back to telling us that Saddam was a bad guy anyway so forget about the weapons of mass destruction. This time it will be, “forget about the torture — by a few rogue soldiers — and remember that there is a war against bad guys going on.”

Capitalism’s Gravediggers is not castigating Bush for breaking United States laws, nor even for the torture he condones. Both are repugnant, but the real blame belongs to capitalism itself. It is a system rife with war. In war, laws are at worst an inconvenience for the victors, and often simply ignored and therefore no inconvenience at all. War is not about following laws. War is about winning.

People will pour out their hearts for today’s torture victims, and ignore the root cause. That way they can pour out their hearts for tomorrow’s torture victims, and again ignore the root cause, ad infinitum.

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