Bush refuses to stop torture

Dominic Baez

I felt chills go down the back of my spine when I saw an article in the March 30 issue of The New York Times about President Bush. Not because it bashes Bush, but because the article was titled “Bush’s Veto of Bill on C.I.A. Tactics Affirm His Legacy.”

Reading further into the article, I came to a startling realization: Bush’s legacy is one of torture. Scary, isn’t it? Basically, Bush refused to impose on the C.I.A. the same standards against anti-torture methods set forth by the Army Field Manual, which include waterboarding, prolonged exposure to freezing
temperatures, forced nudity,
sexual humiliation, mock executions, use of attack dogs, application of electric shocks and  withholding of food, water and medical care.

So, I guess we can consider President Bush a supporter of torture, which does not make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. 

His support for this decision was a basic recitation of his
Oct. 23 speech about the C.I.A. and torture, saying this process has helped protect the United States from terrorism.

Most of the plots he claimed were going to happen were nothing more than that: claims. Many of them were debunked quicker than he could come up with them.

How can it be that Bush has allowed this to happen, especially when the United States is the forerunner in human rights and anti-torture policies?

I will give credit to the C.I.A. though for its quick response.

“The implication is that those measures would be used by the Central Intelligence Agency or other intelligence services if the intelligence authorization bill is vetoed by the president. They would not. The C.I.A. neither conducts nor condones torture,” C.I.A. spokesman Mark Mansfield wrote to The New York Times in a letter to the editor.

Still, it terrifies me to think the C.I.A., given what it considers the “right” incentive, could detain people and deprive them of their basic human rights at the drop of a dime. This just reinforces my belief that Bush built his presidency on the threat of terrorism.

My favorite part of the whole situation: what others have to say.

The editorial board of The Independent of London wrote: “Anyone who imagined that, with the clock running down on his tenure in the White House and America’s attention concentrated on the election of his successor, George Bush could do no more serious damage to America’s reputation in the world must now surely be ruing their complacency…”

Just to top that off, a recent Center for Public Integrity report and database documented 935 false statements by Bush, Vice President Cheney and other top administration officials hyping the threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq in the two years after Sept. 11, 2001. I found this fact amazingly ironic and horrifically sad at the same time.

Enough cannot be said about this ridiculous decision. Personally, I cannot wait until he is out of office for good. 

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