Thursday, October 02, 2008
A Commentary (Written In June)
It has become essentially irrefutable that the United States government, including the president, has authorized the use of torture. It has also become clear that the government tried to keep this secret. According to Joseph Galloway, four years ago the Pentagon told Major General Anthony Taguba to investigate inhumane treatment of detainees. However, he was not allowed to investigate any military or civilian official who outranked him. Yet Taguba has since said, “The commander in chief and those under him authorized a systematic regime of torture.” President Bush, as quoted by Major David J.R. Frakt, has said that the Geneva Conventions do not apply this time-that these detainees “are not legally entitled to such treatment”, that these methods are part of “military necessity” and will save lives. Perhaps one could believe this, if it were not for the innocent people, including a suicidal teenager, who have been tortured. In the case of said teenager, no interrogation ever took place. This goes against the Constitution-i.e. what constitutes-the United States. Not only is it hypocritical to set aside the Constitution when at war, it is completely irrational. The only part of the president’s job description that is not in the Constitution is to uphold the Constitution. Otherwise, the president could simply invade a country, throw out the Constitution, dissolve Congress, and declare himself dictator for life; making and breaking his own arbitrary laws. Our government should believe in its Constitution enough to set the same standards of liberty for all humanity, not just those “legally entitled”. If they throw it out for those abroad, they will surely throw it out at home. Without basic rights such as presumed innocence and habeas corpus, don’t be surprised if criminals aren’t the only ones who suffer. Under the misleading name “enhanced interrogation”, don’t be surprised if it becomes standard police procedure. We should think about that before we decide that it doesn’t affect us.