Thursday, December 08, 2005

Torture Defined

Bostonian Exile picked up on my previous post regarding Sheriff Bouchard's opposition to John McCain's anti-torture bill, and chided those of us who label people against the amendment as pro-torture.
Just as someone can abhor terrorism while opposing the Global War on Terror (is that what we're calling it this week), one can abhor torture without endorsing the McCain Amendment.

...I am not convinced that the McCain Amendment is the best way to prevent this, predominantly because the Amendment, while saying some very noble things that I support in principle, isn't terribly clear as to what it is proscribing.

Fair enough, the language used is vague and leaves lots of room for interpretation. However, that vagueness is a problem that Exile and I agree on, and it should be addressed by our government. There needs to be a definitive definition of what constitutes torture and inhumane treatment, and the government also needs to put on the record what practices are/are not acceptable. Of course, this wouldn't sit well with the Bush administration since they like to push the boundaries and interpret the gray areas to their advantage.

I'm not letting Sheriff Bouchard off the hook though. He said with proper training and tools law enforcement could bring forth information during interrogations. How does Bouchard define appropriate tools? I believe its important for him to answer that question. Does he condone waterboarding? How about beating prisoners with lead pipes? Michigan's citizens deserve to know.

Update: For those who may disagree with my opinion that the Bush administration likes to interpret gray areas to their advantage, check out this post at The Carpetbagger Report. As they point out, trying to decipher Condoleezza Rice's remarks about the U.S. approach to abusive tactics is no easy task.
Rice, in other words, is telling the truth insomuch as she defines her terms, without acknowledging what those definitions are. It's breathtaking.

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