Saturday, October 28, 2006

Dunk in the Water

Hmmm...he's not the vice-president for torture, but...

Now the politicos and the press are up in arms about what Vice-President Cheney meant when he talked about giving suspected terrorists a "dunk in the water." Many observers, quite naturally, assumed that the VP was referring to the practice of waterboarding, which simulates drowning in order to get a prisoner to divulge information. He made this statement at the same time as complaining about being labeled the vice-president for torture. Sending mixed messages there, Dick!

One would actually have more respect for the Vice-President and the Bush Administration in general if they actually came out and said that they condoned the use of torture. That candor would be preferable to the type of prevarications displayed at a recent press conference by White House spokesman Tony Snow, at which a reporter, frustrated by Snow's refusal to admit that the Vice-President had referred to waterboarding, asked if a pool had been installed in Gitmo. (Video of this press conference has been posted on the BBC News website, news.bbc.co.uk.)

Some Republican apologists might claim that Cheney was simply playing tough for the Republican faithful. However, it is, at least in my opinion, highly disturbing that one of the leaders of the most powerful countries on earth would consider the implicit condoning of a form of torture an acceptable means of currying political favour. The fact that such rhetoric is apparently considered acceptable by a significant portion of the American population is even more disturbing. It demonstrates a hardening of attitudes, motivated by understandable fears, that bode ill for American democracy.

1 comment:

curious said...

Although many Americans believe that the end justifies the means not all Americans are so foolish. Let's hope that Nov. 7th will show the current administation that Americans do not want to stay the course! Curious