The Vice President of the United States is actively lobbying for torture right now. Not in the 1800's. Not in the 1950's. Right now. And the sick thing is -- he has an excellent chance of winning.
We look back at things like the McCarthy Hearings or Japanese internment camps and shake our heads in disbelief. Can you believe what happened in America back then? After seeing what's happening right now, the answer is -- absolutely, I see exactly how it happened.
There is a defense spending bill that is in conference committee right now with an amendment attached to it that says the US must follow the Army Field Manual when dealing with detainees and must not treat people it captures with "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment." Can you imagine anything less debatable?
Of course, we are now debating it. And we might lose. The Vice President went down personally to the Senate to try to kill this amendment earlier in the process. The Senate showed rare courage and independence by voting against him 90-9. The nine Senators who voted in favor of "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" should never be allowed to walk into our Congress again. They soil the ground they walk on. That is hallowed ground. All those patriots didn't die so these men could say America stands for darkness.
These men are traitors to the idea and principles of America. And now one of them is leading the conference committee that will decide whether the amendment will be in the final bill. Ted "Bridge to Nowhere" Stevens (R-Alaska) is one of the Republicans who voted for torture and he is charged with representing the Senate on this bill. Of course, the House has already voiced their opinion in favor of torture (there was no formal vote in the House, but their representatives are lobbying to kill the amendment in conference).
As I write this, I think, what kind of a world do we live in? What have we become?
I still can't believe this is the America I love and cherish. The America that was supposed to bring freedom and enlightenment to the rest of the world. The beacon of light.
I continue ... the President has threatened to veto the entire defense spending bill if he is not allowed to continue torturing people. Just yesterday there was another report of at least 21 homicides of detainees under our supervision. We beat and strangled some of these people to death. I guess this is the type of thing Rush Limbaugh would call a frat house prank.
What have we become?
The House and the Senate are trying to decide whether we should continue to torture people or leave bad enough alone. The thought of holding the people who ordered and condoned these actions accountable hasn't even crossed anyone's mind yet.
How can this administration argue that it was a few rogue soldiers who committed the abuses at Abu Ghraib (and all of the other prisons all over Iraq and Afghanistan), when they are arguing for the right to treat detainees with "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" right now?
These are the people who said they were going to bring dignity and morality back into the White House. I know a lot of people voted for this President because they thought he is a good Christian, just like them. Let me ask you, is this what Christianity is all about? Do good Christians argue for cruelty, degradation and inhumanity?
Either Christianity is twisted or Bush has twisted Christianity. Either way, if you claim to be a moral person proud of being a Christian, stand up against this barbarity or never speak of morality again.
This is not some long past error that is too late to correct. The final vote on this bill still hasn't taken place. We can make a difference. We can stand up for the real America.
Or we can admit to ourselves that we have become a country of cruel and degrading inhumanity -- a country of torturers. Jesus, what have we become?