An “Alternative Set of Procedures”

On his blog, Da5id posted on President Bush’s acknowledgement of “secret prisons” to Katie Couric yesterday.  I quote his entry below:

“Alternative set of procedures” is what Bushed called torture. He was describing how the CIA has secret prisons for terrorists (not suspected, because Bush already knows they’re guilty – it’s good to be king) abroad and when “normal” interrogation techniques don’t yield enough information, these alternative set of procedures are used.

I have two things to say about this:

1. When you use the word “alternative” it means something other than what is normally done. I strongly suspect that what is normally done is within the law and when that doesn’t work, they need to go outside the law. You wouldn’t need to call them “alternative” if they all fit within the law, now would you? They would all exist in the same subset. “Alternative set of procedures” reeks of political spin. Kind of like one of the times when Bush updated the reasons why he invaded Iraq by saying that “weapons of mass destruction related program activities” had been found.

2. Then he goes 1984 on us and says he can’t describe these alternative techniques because then the bad guys would be able to learn to resist them. Right. As if anyone can resist the effects of weeks without sleep chained to a cement floor. With the recent story of a Judge declaring that Bush’s wiretapping is illegal, I don’t think our nation can afford to let him continue doing things in secret. He essentially wants us to blindly trust him that he’s not doing anything illegal and not allowing anyone to check. Today he said, “I’ve said to the people that we don’t torture, and we don’t.” Tough to swallow from an administration with a track record of lying. Unchecked power is not a hallmark of democracy.

On a side note, every now and then the truth will slip out:

“I mean that a defeat in Iraq will embolden the enemy, and will provide the enemy more opportunity, to train, plan to attack us, that’s what I mean. One of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror,” Mr. Bush said.

What I find interesting about President Bush (and the larger administration) is that after months of denial about this kind of stuff, they finally come out and admit that “well actually, yeah, you were right, this stuff has been happening all along.”  But will it make a difference?  I tend to think it won’t.  I think the majority of America, even if they don’t believe that what he’s doing is “right,” like the fact that President Bush strongly believes that what he’s doing is right.  Maybe the upcoming midterm elections will show me something else (because America rising up against a sitting President and calling for new elections doesn’t seem likely).  Even if the Democratic Party does oust the Republicans from control of the Congress, I don’t think it’ll make much of a difference.  We’ll still be in Iraq and Afghanistan, middle and lower-class American’s will still be dying for a war that essentially about oil and we still won’t be providing even basic health care for a good percentage of our population.

I personally think that as the world’s most comsumptive and financially powerful society, we have a responsibility to both our own citizens and the global citizens to strive for peace and a healthy sustainable world.

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