Dispatches from the Creation Wars

Am I Missing Something Here?

The Senate Armed Services committee is working on a bill that would place firm limits on the treatment of detainess and the types of interrogation they can use. And the Vice President apparently wants the bill stopped:

The legislation, which is still being drafted, includes provisions to bar the military from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross; prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees; and use only interrogation techniques authorized in a new Army field manual…

In an unusual, 30-minute private meeting on Capitol Hill on Thursday night, Mr. Cheney warned three senior Republicans on the Armed Services Committee that their legislation would interfere with the president’s authority and his ability to protect Americans against terrorist attacks.

So let’s see if I understand this correctly. The administration claims that they treat all detainees humanely and do not engage in degrading or dehumanizing treatment, or in torture as an interrogation technique. And their defenders pretty much call anyone who dares to raise any concern about this issue a terrorist sympathizer. But now they’re arguing that if Congress stops them from doing what they claim they’re not doing, it will impede the battle against terrorists? Me thinks white man speak with forked tongue.


  1. #1 ck
    July 24, 2005

    All I have to say is remember Egypt after the assassination of their president. Their crackdown (legitimately motivated) on terrorism within their burgeoning democracy has led to a police state of the likes described in Farenheit 451. We’re fooling ourselves if we think that our country is immune to the same kinds of abuses of power.

    After all, we’re responding to the same threat.

  2. #2 Michelangelo
    July 24, 2005

    I’m not sure where you got the article excerpt you quoted, Ed, but the way it is written steers the reader towards the assumption that Cheney’s problem with the proposed legislation rests within the objectives outlined in the article (“hiding prisoners from the Red Cross; prohibit cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of detainees;…etc”). It is possible that the VP is actually coming out against the proposed legislation for reasons not mentioned in the article, and would in fact favor or be neutral on the legislation if it included only those objectives mentioned in the article.

    CK, I agree with you. However, I think the kind of abuse of power one sees in Egypt, while not impossible in the US, is much less likely, owing to our much stronger Constitutional protections and a culture much less accustomed to dictatorial leadership. (Of course that does not relieve “we the people” of our burden of vigilance!)

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