Lindsay at Majikthise notes that Dear Leader has signed the torture bill, with these words:
“It is a rare occasion when a president can sign a bill that he knows will save American lives,” Bush said. “I have that privilege this morning.”
Bush signed the bill in the White House East Room, at a table with a sign positioned on the front that said “Protecting America.” He said he signed it in memory of the victims of the Sept. 11 attacks.
“We will answer brutal murder with patient justice,” Bush said. “Those who kill the innocent will be held to account.” [AP]
Some observations. Yes, it has been rare for Dear Leader to sign any legislation that saves American lives. Including this one. No, there is nothing patient about torture nor is their justice. And Lindsay’s observation that liberty and freedom is not a zero sum game is exactly correct. We are taking it from Americans (the same bill put a stake through the heart of habeas corpus) but not delivering it to Iraqis (or anyone else).
Another of Lindsay’s points is especially pertinent. This isn’t about torture, it’s about retribution:
“With the bill I’m about to sign, the men our intelligence officials believe orchestrated the murder of nearly 3,000 innocent people will face justice,” Bush said. [AP]
Even as many of us protest the incarceration and death sentences meted out to the five nurses and a doctor by the despotic regime in Libya with confessions extracted under torture, we move to sanction this in the US.
Not worried because it doesn’t apply to you?
The legislation also says the president can “interpret the meaning and application” of international standards for prisoner treatment, a provision intended to allow him to authorize aggressive interrogation methods that might otherwise be seen as illegal by international courts. White House press secretary Tony Snow said Bush would probably eventually issue an executive order that would describe his interpretation, but those documents are not usually made public and Snow did not reveal when it might be issued. [AP]