Monday, October 17, 2005

Nat Hentoff: McCain Versus Bush

I’ve been a follower of Hentoff’s work for the past year, since I read a few of his books on the Bill of Rights and what the “War on Terror” means to it. This week Hentoff has written a story on the war between the House, the Senate, and the Administration over torture, revealing just what vile people are in charge of our country. One passage particularly struck me:

Last summer, at the order of the president, this-and two other corollary McCain amendments to the same appropriations bill-resulted in Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist yanking the entire $440 billion appropriations bill off the Senate floor. The White House was afraid the McCain amendments setting clear standards of prisoner treatment would pass.

Before that happened, Dick Cheney had been sent to muscle McCain to withdraw his amendments. McCain refused. More White House pressure was put on McCain and some of his co-sponsors at the beginning of October, when the appropriations bill came up again. Having refused to crack under North Vietnamese torturers, McCain was not moved.

Yes, God forbid we ACTUALLY take a stand and define torture as something that Americans do not do. We must mouth the words, not actually live them.

But consider what the continuing threat of a presidential veto-of funds for American servicemen on the front lines in Iraq-reveals about George W. Bush.

Bush insistently believes that, as commander in chief, he is the law, and neither Congress nor the courts have any right to interfere with his conduct in the war on terrorism.

When there are adverse court decisions partially disagreeing with him, Bush grudgingly appears to back off briefly, but he continues to move in the courts to assure his supremacy.

Speaks a lot about the people in charge of our nation. What does it say about the people who re-elected him, though?

Oh, Hentoff also covers the story of Captain Ian Fishback, a veteran of this Iraq war, who stands with McCain against torture.

Captain Fishback wrote-and somebody should show this to the commander in chief, who doesn't read newspapers-"Overcoming the fear posed by terrorist threats is a tremendous test of our courage. Will we confront danger and adversity in order to preserve our ideals, or will our courage and commitment to individual rights wither at the prospect of sacrifice? My response is simple. If we abandon our ideals in the face of adversity and aggression, then those ideals were never really in our possession."

It’s a great piece; I highly recommend it.

Posted by crimnos @ 8:13 AM

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Another case of the Bush administration saying, "Do as I say, not as I do."

Posted by Blogger james @ 1:11 PM #
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