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November 07, 2005

Senators Defend "Torture"

God bless 'em.

There's a good reason to oppose McCain's feel-good legislation. It's vague about what is permitted and what isn't. When he's pressed on this, he'll tell you the anti-torture law simply incorporates the UN's Convention Against Torture -- so, he implies, that settles the vagueness problem. Just check CAT.

But that's disingenuous. Wait, I forgot what political age I was writing in; I mean that's a lying lie lied by a lying liar pants on fire fatty fatty two-by-four liar. CAT is just as vague as McCain's bill:

McCain's amendment refers to the UN Convention Against Torture ("CAT") and U.S. reservations and declarations accompanying our agreement to it. But the U.S. reservations on signing the CAT -- which, by our Constitutional law limit our obligation to abide by it -- simply say that Article 16 of CAT (the one that prohibits cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment) is not self-executing (i.e., has to be implemented by new law.)

Going into CAT, the reader discovers -- as the Congressional Research Service finds in its analysis of U.S. implementation of CAT -- CAT doesn't define those terms either. So what the McCain amendment does is precisely the opposite of what it purportedly intends to do. Instead of defining clearly how prisoners can be treated, it injects undefined terms that leave interrogators completely at the mercy of second-guessers in Congress, the courts and the media. Is waterboarding forbidden? Is taking a prisoner's Koran away for a time as punishment cruel and inhuman? Are sleep deprivation or the use of psychotropic drugs that do no lasting harm -- both of which are permitted by U.S. law absent the McCain amendment -- to be illegal? If the McCain amendment becomes law, no one will know until the first intelligence interrogator is tried and either found innocent or sent to jail.

The only sensible conclusion is that Messrs. Cheney, Rumsfeld and Goss are opposing a law that will hamper -- perhaps fatally -- our ability to gather intelligence from terrorist prisoners. And they are not only correct to do so, they are performing an essential service to our nation in this war. They are not torturers or advocates of torture. They're trying to win the damned war in accordance with our laws and trying to avoid officious intermeddling by those who, though their intentions may be honorable, are entirely unwilling to listen to reason.

McCain's hope seems to be by vaguely defining "torture," he will discourage most if not all coercive techniques as the possible penalty will be jailtime.

This is McCain looking out for our boys? Giving them the vaguest guidance about what they are allowed to do and what they are not allowed to do, with a 10-20 year sentence in case they guess wrong?

So: Why is McCain being vague? Why are all ant-torture Warriors of Conscience unwilling to say precisely what is allowed?

For the same reason the Administration doesn't want to say precisely what is allowed. Because, if you say that Technique X is officially allowed, the world will howl and call you a torture advocate; all of these techniques are, let's face it, kinda bad-sounding.

McCain knows that Technique X should be allowed, but for political reasons, he can't say so. So he writes a vague law to garner the political bonus from the Left for "outlawing torture" while letting the consequences of his cowardice fall upon the military men who, in the course of defending our country, will have to worry about jail or actually be sentenced to jail.

If McCain's serious about this, he should show some actual courage, and actual respect and care for our boys, and state precisely what is allowed and precisely what is not.

But he won't. He's a coward, and he's quite willing, as many are, to let the consequences of his cowardice and contradictions be borne by the grunts serving our country.

John McCain

If a few soldiers have to be court-martialed and sentenced to 10 years at Levenworth for failing to guess precisely what his vague law might mean, well, he's willing to bear that price, if it means that Andrew Sullivan and Chris Mattews will continue saying nice things about him. One must have a sense of priority in a war, and top priority, of course, must be keeping McCain's liberal-media-base happy.

So you're a "straight shooter," Johnny Boy? Well prove it. YOU write a law which specifically and with no ambiguity spells out what coercive measures are in fact permitted. Don't pass the buck to the military or Bush Administration to put the details into the bill which YOU are responsible for, YOU being the guy pushing this.

But you won't. Because your liberal media base won't like you if you do.

Coward. Hypocrite. Liar.

Answering Excitable Andy: The Shrill Shill wants to know why Cheney will only make his case against McCain's bill in private. If his cause is so righteous, the Bipolar Bloviator wants to know, why not do so with public pronouncements?

Well, Andy, for the same reason the new entry in your Crush Book -- John McCain -- won't specify what should be permitted. And for the same reason YOU won't specify what should be permitted. Because even if everyone agrees privately that arm-twisting and wrist-bending should be permitted in interrogating terrorists, no one is willing to take the heat of saying so publicly.

Grow up, asshole. There are some things a country needs to do without broadcasting it to the world. We spy on Britain, for example. Should we alienate the British by publicly declaring "Yeah, we spy on you like crazy"?

Part of diplomacy -- that which is so beloved by the Left -- is keeping quiet about indelicate subjects.

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posted by Ace at 01:02 PM

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