Why Liberals Have the Moral High Ground
Congress sent a $440 billion defense spending bill to the White House for George
Bush's signature. Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), a Vietnam War POW who endured
years of torture at the hands of his captors, added an amendment to the bill
which would prohibit the "cruel, inhumane or degrading" treatment of prisoners
in the custody of America's defense department. The amendment is backed by
American soldiers and was passed overwhelmingly by a 90 to 9 Senate vote, but
Bush said if any ban on torture is added to the bill , he would veto it. The
Compassionate Conservative Bush, who maintained that the photos the world saw of
torture and sexual humiliation and reports of rape at Abu Ghraib and similar
allegations at Guantanamo Bay were the actions of a few rogue enlistees, who
were court-martialled and sentenced to prison terms, maintained that with the
amendment, Congress was attempting to tie the administration's hands in the war
against terrorism. He failed to explain how banning torture would tie the
administration's hands if the actions depicted in the photos were simply the
actions of those few convicted enlistees.
The nine red state Senators who voted in favor of torture, and are being called the "Nazi Nine" are exclusively Conservative Republicans, namely: Sens. Allard (R-CO), Bond (R-MO), Coburn (R-OK), Cochran (R-MS), Cornyn (R-TX), Inhofe (R-OK), Roberts (R-KS), Sessions (R-AL), and Stevens (R-AK).
Bush has never vetoed any bill in the almost five years he's been in the White House. The one bill he decides to veto is the one that would confirm our American values and our word to honor the Geneva Conventions which, since our country was a signatory to those Conventions, became the law of the land, according to our Constitution.
Fortunately, a veto can be overturned by a two-thirds majority vote in both houses of Congress. We can only hope that those who represent the American people in the House will follow the Senate's example of upholding the principles, ideals and spirit of America as the world's leader in championing human rights and the rule of law. Promoting torture has not only tarnished our nation's image in the eyes of the world, but also makes a mockery of this administration's attempts to export democracy and accusations that Saddam Hussein had to be removed by force because he was a tyrant who tortured the Iraqi people. Hussein if facing a trial and the death penalty for his acts. What should Bush's fate be?
We have certainly negated any "noble cause" as an excuse for our invasion and the reason we've sacrificed the lives of almost 2000 of America's military sons and daughters and the countless others who have been wounded in body, mind and spirit.
Thankfully, every Liberal Democrat in the Senate upheld American morals and values by voting for the banning of torture as a US policy.
Every intelligence agency has stated that torture is not an effective way to gain credible information since a person being tortured will tell the torturer anything he wants to hear as a means to stop the torture.
It's good to remember that we've already imposed enough torture on Iraq with our cancer causing depleted uranium bombs and bullets, destruction of cities, villages, homes and infrastructure and countless Iraqi deaths and maimings for a country that had no part in 9-11 and no connection to Osama binLaden or al Qaeda. In fact, before our invasion, there were no terrorists in Saddam's tightly controlled Iraq and no WMD.
Bush's campaign rhetoric about the Republican Party being the party of moral values turned out to be just that...rhetoric, and empty rhetoric at that, since actions speak louder than words.
On April 13, 2003, in Washington, D.C., we thought it was just another Bushism when George Bush said, " And, you know, it'll take time to restore chaos and order...". Apparently he said exactly what he meant because he's certainly established chaos. With a veto for upholding, not only the law of our land, but the higher moral law of humanity, more time will only create more chaos, create more enemies, give more reasons for people to want to retaliate against us, which will expose us to increased danger of terrorist attacks, and showing the world that we are hypocrites when we talk about our support for human rights and we'll no longer have any credibility or right to criticize countries with a poor human rights record.
It's outrageous that this war crime is being done in our name and we must bear some responsibility because these are the people we chose as the ones we wanted to represent us. We should and can do better. Since our government is of, by and for we the people, we are damned by our own Constitution by not standing up and telling Bush and the Nazi Nine that this is about us and the principles we stand for and America and the American people are better than that.
When this is added to the current investigations for corruption, immoral and unethical behavior, and the imminent indictments about to be brought by the Grand Jury investigating the treasonous act of outing a CIA operative by members of this administration, the party of moral values is clearly not the Republican Party.