Friday, September 29, 2006

Is Torture American?

There are a times in America's history that in trying to protect--the country, the status quo--that Congress has passed bills upon the urging of the President of the time that have besmirched, at minimum what our democratic republic stands for, have led to a constitutional crisis. (see - 17k for a compilation of some of these constitutional debates in Congress). There are quite a few, for instance, The Alien and Sedition Act of 1792 and now, the bill that just passed the Senate which would allow the President to establish permissible intertogation techniques, ie., torture.

We have already seen how this administration defines torture with that infamous memo from Gonzales' office when he was Chief Counsel to the President in Jan. 25, 2002 . The memo stated that the pain of interrogation must cause such "injury such as death, organ failure, or serious impairment of body functions in order to constitute torture."

Torture is not only against American values (see the 8th Amendment to our Consitution) but that prohibition against governments using cruel and inhuman punishment and interrogation techniques has been echoed in international treaties from the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to the Geneva Conventions.

Torture is ineffective in getting to the truth. The victim will say anything to get the pain to stop--truth or not. Torture is effective in getting revenge (but are we exacting this revenge on the right people--and even then does exactingg revenge without benefit of trial right?). Torture is effective in getting some people's rocks off--hence S&M practices.

I am very sad that the Senate has passed this President's folly (if only it was a folly). We are heading down a slippery slope where democratic values and human rights have no hold. This bill makes the President no better than any dictator who uses torture.
This President's actions, and those of Congress supporting said actions, are against everything thet America stands for, they are, thus, acting in ways unamerican.


The daily maintenance
Is too expensive,
Wherefore my countenance
Grows apprehensive.

Would that I could abroad
To someplace else
Then hastily I would,
For this place smells.

Away to someplace where
Is spent the Euro,
Where money-grubbing ne´er
Makes one a hero.

Someplace where quality
Of life´s respected,
And genteel poverty
Too gets protected.

Ah, putrid, fetid stench
Called money-love
Pervades and does entrench
More than enough

Here in America:
They want more gizmos,
Then their sloth try to trawl
One day at Quizno´s--

No, make that Subway--eating
The other days competing

These gizmos all require
Such money, time;
To help maintain desire
Please spare a dime.

Brother, there are no limits
On what I´ll do
To pass the other dimwits
Just like you,

In my earning potential,
For compounding
Still happens exponential,
Quite astounding!

Alas, good quality
Of life is lost,
When such frivolity
Carries great cost--

Better to be more close
To land connected,
Though my veins varicose
Have been detected.

The air is foul,
While con men prowl
By cheek and jowl
To make one howl,
Most zealous ones
The Neocons.
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