TORTURE AND THE VICE PRESIDENT….PART 2….Dana Priest and Robin Wright report today that Dick Cheney is rapidly finding himself isolated on the issue of government sponsored torture of prisoners:
Cheney’s camp is a “shrinking island,” said one State Department official who, like other administration officials quoted in this article, asked not to be identified because public dissent is strongly discouraged by the White House.
That’s good news, I guess, and it’s nice to know that Condoleezza Rice opposes torture ? although I wish it were because she thought torture was wrong, not simply to “get out of the detainee mess.”
Even more, I wish that George Bush opposed state sanctioned torture and told his vice president so in no uncertain terms. So far, though, he has declined to do this. On the contrary, his reaction to last week’s Washington Post expose about overseas “black sites,” where torture of prisoners is apparently routine, has not been to express shock and dismay ? or even to feign it ? but rather to order an internal inquiry into how Dana Priest found out about it.
As for Cheney, Laura Rozen has the right idea:
If he had been supporting the very same policies he is now advocating while representing a regime like Serbia’s, the big man would be in a Hague jail cell. The same support for torture. The same naked contempt for democratic processes. The same contempt for law. The same contempt for their people.
If it’s wrong for Serbia or China or Iran or the Soviet Union to do this, it’s wrong for us. It’s long past time for George Bush to restore America’s moral compass and state publicly and unequivocally that we don’t permit prisoners under our control to be tortured or abused. We’re supposed to be better than this.