US passes ‘torture’ bill

The US House of Representatives passed an amended bill last night on how they should treat detainees in the US war on terror.  Or, to put it another way – how much they can torture people.

John McCain proposed an amendment which weakened some of the original bill’s more outrageous elements, but it’s still a pretty revolting bill, authorising ‘interrogation methods’. 

These methods include sleep depravation, exposing inmates to extreme temperatures and simulated drowning – also known as ‘waterboarding’. 

Waterboarding, as The Agonist points out, was one of the ‘war crimes’ that were cited in convicting Japanese prisoners at the end of World War Two.  The irony seems to have completely passed by the members of the House of Representatives. 

Many Democrats were content to support this bill.  Sean Paul, a longtime Democrat supporter, isn’t impressed:

All we heard we arguments why it was politically damaging to argue against the McCain compromise, or whatever. It really doesn’t get any more craven than that. I don’t care what anyone says, or how they justify varying levels of torture. Torture is torture and what the Senate did is a betrayal of our fundamental human values.

Neither am I.  Aside from the pure repulsiveness of this bill, it’s suffers from being just plain dumb.  This bill does nothing more than hand a spectacular propaganda victory to the United States opponents. 

1 thought on “US passes ‘torture’ bill”

  1. I don’t care what anyone says, or how they justify varying levels of torture. Torture is torture and what the Senate did is a betrayal of our fundamental human values.

    It’s statements like these which cause me the most concern. Torture is not torture if anyone is allowed to define torture in any way they like. I wrote about this at length here.

    It is of little surprise that the US policy makers are able to get torture approved when sections of the media have done their best to define mere prisoner discomfort as such. When I hear a prisoner in Gitmo has been tortured, I shrug my shoulders and assume he’s had his Koran mishandled.

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