I had been feeling better about the state of things (you know the Christmas spirit and all) until I stumbled across this link from Mellow-drama: Washington Post: U.S. Decries Abuse but Defends Interrogations — ‘Stress and Duress’ Tactics Used on Terrorism Suspects Held in Secret Overseas Facilities.

    A few things that bother me about this. . .

    1. Mellow-drama (a blog that I normally dig) actually defends this practice. I am shocked that a law student seems to think that due process should go out the window in a time of war. I’m sorry. Call me an absolutist but freedom is tested the most when the defendant is accused of the most heinous of crimes.

    2. Torture is NEVER right. NEVER. NEVER. NEVER.

    We are supposed to be better than this. I know some might say, “hey, Israel does it, so does…(name the country).”

    Well I don’t give a rat’s *** about what other countries do. America is supposed to be held to a higher standard, and as a defiant believer in the values of freedom, I expect more of my nation than this.

    3. Here’s one quote from a war criminal who is involved with this opperation…

      “If you don’t violate someone’s human rights some of the time, you probably aren’t doing your job,” said one official who has supervised the capture and transfer of accused terrorists. “I don’t think we want to be promoting a view of zero tolerance on this. That was the whole problem for a long time with the CIA.”

    Zero tolerance on basic human rights!? What is wrong with these people?! Why is this administration allowing this to go on?

    4. Here’s another appalling quote…

      In other cases, usually involving lower-level captives, the CIA hands them to foreign intelligence services — notably those of Jordan, Egypt and Morocco — with a list of questions the agency wants answered. These “extraordinary renditions” are done without resort to legal process and usually involve countries with security services known for using brutal means.

    Jumping ahead in the story, we find out why the US sends prisoners to countries like this…

      Jordan is a favored country for renditions, several U.S. officials said. The Jordanians are considered “highly professional” interrogators, which some officials said meant that they do not use torture. But the State Department’s 2001 human rights report criticized Jordan and its General Intelligence Directorate for arbitrary and unlawful detentions and abuse.

      “The most frequently alleged methods of torture include sleep deprivation, beatings on the soles of the feet, prolonged suspension with ropes in contorted positions and extended solitary confinement,” the 2001 report noted. Jordan also is known to use prisoners’ family members to induce suspects to talk.

    (I should add, I was unaware that Jordan engaged in these kinds of action. I thought Jordan was a more progressive nation in that region. I guess I was wrong.)

    5. Here’s another blood curdling episode …

      Abu Zubaida, who is believed to be the most important al Qaeda member in detention, was shot in the groin during his apprehension in Pakistan in March. National security officials suggested that Zubaida’s painkillers were used selectively in the beginning of his captivity. He is now said to be cooperating, and his information has led to the apprehension of other al Qaeda members.

    Denying an injured man his pain meds is barbarity plain and simple ANY American soldier, officer, or government official who has approved or has allowed to continue these attroctities should be tried for war crimes.

    And if it can be shown that President Bush knew that this was taking place and did nothing to stop it, he should be impeached. I have cut him some slack before now. While I loathed many things that he and his administration had done, I hoped that he would change his ways. (I didn’t call him a “illegitmate president” or say he “stole” the election, etc.) Using torture was the last straw in my book. If he continues to fail to act decisively to stop the actions of the forces under his command, it is tantamount to a betrayal of American values and his oath of office to support and defend the Constitution of the United States.

    I am beginning to think he and most of his underlings should be impeached and removed from office.