I got up this morning despondent about the latest news over George Bush’s evident desire to torture people, the failure of anyone in office to genuinely stand up to him, and what that says about a country that once deserved to be called great in more than its ability to kill people.
How else describe the importance Bush places on a measure opposed by US military officers who, having retired, do not have to follow the orders of our President? Any moral ambiguities about the issue were silenced when we learned this past week that American authorities had kidnapped Maher Arar, a Canadian citizen and father of a six year old daughter and younger son, and transported him to Syria to be tortured for alleged involvement in terrorism. He confessed, and was then held in a tiny dungeon for 10 moths before finally being released because he was innocent.

Now he has been found innocent.
Of course he confessed. Modern torture methods can get any one to confess about anything. Apparently that does not bother President Bush, which raises the legitimate and disturbing issue of why he wants the power to torture so badly.
And something that has been all too rarely raised – why was he sent to Syria? Bush and his minions tell us Syria is our enemy. It supposedly aids terrorists. Something smells very badly about this, not that any Republicans or even Democrats are likely to do much about it.
Besides its moral depravity, the US government’s actions will rebound badly on our own security, as I suppose it should. Canada will likely think twice about sharing intelligence information with the US unless their own courts have acted. Some European countries reportedly already do. And in fighting terrorism cooperation with other countries is far more important than torture, even of the guilty. But George Bush and most Republicans do not care. Neither, it seems, do a great many Democrats.
Rarely are the people of a nation given a truly black and white choice on a fundamental moral issue. The American people have been given such a choice and, at the moment are flunking badly.
In the mire of depravity that constitutes Republican and conservative “values” today, it was a breath of fresh air to read Bill Clinton’s smackdown of Chris Wallace on Fox. If ever an American network served its political masters as faithfully as Pravda served Moscow’s communists, it is Fox. Clinton demonstrated to the most ignorant portion of America, those who get their news from Fox, that in fact the Republicans and right wing have never cared much about protecting then American people. It is all part of the quest for power for them. For once, some truth actually was broadcast on that benighted station.
I have not always agreed with Bill Clinton. Sometimes I have disagreed strongly on important issues. But at least he cares about our country, and compared to the current crowd, is a paragon of human decency.
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