Friday, January 06, 2006

Bush Writes Himself an Exemption to Anti-Torture Law

Bush Writes Himself an Exemption to Anti-Torture Law
Paul Rieckhoff

You probably missed this, since that was exactly the point. Over New Years weekend the Bush Administration "took out the trash," as they say in the business. And this was some particularly smelly garbage.

Remember last month when President Bush agreed to Sen. McCain's legislation banning the use of torture on enemy prisoners?
Unfortunately, it now appears he didn't really mean it. Just as we all headed out for the long weekend, Bush released what's known as a "signing statement," which is basically the Presidential version of crossing your fingers behind your back when you make a promise. In the statement, the President says, in short, "Sure, we don't torture people, unless I think we should."

You can read the full statement in the article posted below this one (sixth paragraph).

The President has basically written himself an exemption. If that tactic seems familiar, it should. It's the same way he recently trampled a decades-old law forbidding domestic wiretapping.

This is ugly business. So ugly that the White House sheepishly released the document when everyone was distracted by the Holidays. So ugly that when the press picked up the story, they couldn't find anyone in the White House willing to comment on the record. Instead, we're left to interpret the wisdom of an anonymous "senior administration official."

Apparently I can't say this enough: It puts our Troops in danger when the President takes anything less than an unequivocal stand against the use of torture. Period.
Not incidentally, it's also bad for national security. That's why IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), stand behind the Torture is Not US campaign, which now looks like it's more important than ever.