John Birch Society: Bush Wants Torture

Despite opinion to the contrary, the prohibition of torture, while partisan, is not a left-right issue. For proof, see Ann Shibler’s piece today for the John Birch Society, “Bush Wants Torture.”

By failing to overturn the veto, it seems that 188 House members agree with President Bush who continues to support the idea that the government should be free to use torture. “I cannot sign into law a bill that would prevent me, and future presidents, from authorizing the CIA to conduct a separate, lawful intelligence program, and from taking all lawful actions necessary to protect Americans from attack,” he said.

In any case, there is nothing “lawful” or intelligent or “necessary” about waterboarding or any other torture techniques. And torture simply cannot “protect America from attacks.” The techniques are inhumane and immoral, and totally ineffective, but must somehow satisfy some primal instinct of lower human nature, or they wouldn’t be so popular with so many.

The fact is, America should be above the various and sundry barbarities, torture included, that seem to delight certain instincts in some. It is important, therefore, to know who amongst our legislators supports such uncivilized behavior so that, come next election, citizens who favor civilized behavior can vote accordingly.

You can check how your representative voted by clicking here. Notice the almost perfect partisan lines that were kept; know then, that is probably not about torture but partisan politics. And keep in mind that “Yeas” are good, meaning they voted to override Bush’s veto, and the “Nay’s” need to get a letter from their constituents, asking why they condone and vote for immoral and brutal treatment of other human beings when the folks back home understand torture when they see it, and want it stopped.

Or, as conservative Bob Barr wrote in the piece I referenced yesterday,

As a teenager, I loved to read comic books. Superman comics were my favorite. Among the many adversaries the Man of Steel faced (and always vanquished) was Bizarro World. In Bizarro World, everything was the opposite of that which prevailed in our world. Up was down, clean was dirty, black was white, good was bad … you get the picture.

Events of the past few years remind me more and more of Bizarro World, except now it’s not a comic-book world, it’s the real world. The effect of witnessing a federal government operating according to Bizarro World standards instead of those enshrined in our Constitution and legal system is truly frightening.

In no instance is this scenario clearer than when the current administration has addressed the matter of whether its agents have, since September 11, 2001, tortured prisoners.

I would add, that as a teenager, I found the John Birch Society, more than a little odd, when I attended an extra credit presentation for geography class at the Richard Byrd library near my home and heard a representative of the Society call The World Book Encyclopedia a communist plot. After all my beloved third grade teacher Mrs. Moore had sold us our copy.

So, like Mr. Barr, I find myself in Bizarro World or perhaps Through the Looking Glass when I find myself agreeing with the Birch Society. But things just get curiouser and curiouser.

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