Saturday, July 23, 2005

What's to hide?

White House Aims to Block Legislation on Detainees:
The Bush administration in recent days has been lobbying to block legislation supported by Republican senators that would bar the U.S. military from engaging in "cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment" of detainees, from hiding prisoners from the Red Cross, and from using interrogation methods not authorized by a new Army field manual.

Vice President Cheney met Thursday evening with three senior Republican members of the Senate Armed Services Committee to press the administration's case that legislation on these matters would usurp the president's authority and -- in the words of a White House official -- interfere with his ability "to protect Americans effectively from terrorist attack."
The Senators are Graham, McCain, and Warner. Mr. Brownback sits on the Armed Services Committee, but – despite is work on torture overseas – is uninterested.

Why should torture be necessary (or useful) "to protect Americans … from terrorist attack"? I honestly don't understand. I'm encouraged that a few Republicans want to reaffirm this country's opposition to torture. It's a nice gesture. Perhaps if a few people asked the White House to back off.