Bush tries to sidestep
torture bans
Posted November 11, 2005

In an attempt to halt the abuse of prisoners of war the Senate passed a proposition that would prohibit torture in U.S. prisons, however, President Bush promised to veto the bill, even though he has not once vetoed anything in the past five years of his presidency.

Bush claims that our nation cannot win the war without torturing people.

Together with Vice President Dick Cheney, he is attempting to do everything in his power to delay the voting in the House of Representatives on the proposal that would ban cruel and degrading treatment of prisoners held by Americans.

This leaves the U.S. as the only country that publicly asserts the right to cruelly and inhumanely torture others.

When questioned, Bush denied any inhumane torture of prisoners of war and asserted that the nation’s interrogation practices and treatment of terrorism suspects are lawful and just.

Since Sept. 11, 2001, U.S. military forces have held many terror suspects at places such as Guantanamo Bay. So far only nine out of about 500 detainees there have been charged with criminal offenses. However, most of the detainees were tortured and some were even publicly humiliated, even though the majority were innocent.

America was humiliated when its soldiers’ torturous actions were portrayed in the photographs from Abu Ghraib that show the abuse and humiliation of prisoners. This is not the way to stop terrorists and figure out their plans. Let’s make sure that none of the detainees have a similar experience.

Democrats in the Senate plan to create an independent commission that would investigate detainee abuse and get to the bottom of this mess.

However, Cheney is stubbornly pulling tricks out of his sleeves and is currently trying to make the Central Intelligence Agency an exception to this potential law.

He argues that Bush needs as much flexibility as possible to deal with global terrorism, but if we analyze the situation, Bush has done little to get us out of the hole in Iraq that we are in, and the flexibility that he currently has causes more harm then good.

Despite setbacks, the Senate is prepared to take on a fight with the Bush Administration. Senators that support the prohibition of torturing POW’s in U.S. prisons are determined to pass it and threatened to include this potential ban in almost every bill that the Senate will vote on until this proposal becomes a law.

If passed, the ban on torture would make the Army Field Manual the guiding authority in interrogations and would prohibit cruel, inhumane and degrading treatment of prisoners.

In taking extra precaution, the Senate has added the ban on torture to a military spending bill as well, to ensure that the ban will eventually become a law. So far, this ban is supported in both houses. Unfortunately, the White House has put its foot in the door and is pushing for either a rewording or the removal of the torture ban.

The potential bill has halted in the House, and its version of the military spending bill does not include the ban on torture, but senators are urging representatives to accept their version.

Sen. John McCain rejected a proposition that would give Bush the final say of when torture should and should not be used outside of the Department of Defense to protect our nation.

Has the Bush administration learned anything from Guantanamo Bay and Abu Ghraib? We suggest for Bush to stop his attempt to justify harsh torturing techniques and allow the Senate to do its job.

Bush tries to sidestep
torture bans

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