Really, that’s what Bush said; the agreement “clears the way” for the government to actually detain and interrogate terrorists – as if they weren’t able to do that before. What he means, of course, is that the ability to torture alleged terrorists – snatched arbitrarily, anywhere in the world, simply on the say-so of the Leader or his designated minions – will be preserved. Bush obviously has a deep psychological need to feel that someone is being tormented at his orders at all times.

But the demented psychology of this sad little shriveled-up nothing of a man is of slight import. What matters are the actions and policies that are being carried out by the junta operating in his name – and the countenancing of this gang’s crimes by the United States Congress. And that is what we have seen today: the countenancing of torture and kangaroo courts by some sad sacks of shinola lauded by the media as “men of principle.” This is what we’ve come to, this is where are today: sick bastards and cynical bastards openly and eagerly gutting the very core of American law.

What we have seen today is no “grand compromise,” no “great debate,” no “act of principle” and certainly no “preservation” of the Geneva Conventions. What we have seen instead is a small group of rich, cynical, power-hungry old bastards belch forth lies in the service of torture and tyranny. And if you’re not angry about that, if you’re not “shrill” about that, then by God you are one piss-poor American citizen. You shame every man and woman who have fought and died and marched and worked and dreamed for our freedoms.

Chris Floyd

This is the bottom line on the torture debate: we should not be having one. Among civilized people the topic is not open for negotiation or compromise. Among civilized people, when anyone says, “Wait, can’t I torture some people, some times, under some circumstances?” anyone else will say, “No, you can’t. Now leave me alone, you’re creeping me out.”

To torture is, by definition, to deliberately make another human being suffer more than anyone would ever want to suffer. Therefore, torture is by definition one of the worst things you can do. I do not understand how this could be any more obvious. Torture is wrong. It’s that simple. Civilized people do not use it, ever, for any reason. It is to be abjured, always, every single time, period.

What kind of sorry, twisted, pestilent, crater-pocked planet are these torture apologists from? In which depraved universe is torture sometimes a good idea? What kind of miscreant would stand up and say, “I’m in favor of it!”? Don’t they know how disgusting that makes them? – how others hold their breath and turn away, avoiding eye contact? – how we retreat into the crowd, discreetly, so as not to embarrass the lunatic in the middle, who has lost touch with the world and with the body he pollutes with his presence? – who has soiled himself, and stinks so badly, and doesn’t even know?

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