||[Dec. 15th, 2006|07:05 am]
Bush’s Torture Ticking Time Bomb: Sins of Commission|
By James Bovard
Have Republicans become the party of torture, secret prisons, and indefinite detention? In his speech last month on signing the Military Commissions Act, President Bush declared that the bill “sends a clear message… We will never back down from the threats to our freedom.” “Rough interrogation” (a.k.a. torture) in the name of freedom may be Bush’s clearest ideological legacy.
Bush endlessly reminds listeners that “the U.S. does not torture” and that “torture is not an American value.” But “What is torture?” is the Bush version of the Pontius Pilate question. Bush appears to be using the definition of torture crafted by Justice Department official John Yoo: if detainees weren’t maimed or killed, they weren’t tortured. And the Justice Department acts as if, even if detainees are killed during interrogations, it is best to treat the deaths as harmless errors.