Monday, October 24, 2005

Let the CIA Do It

The New York Times reports in tomorrow's edition that Vice President Dick Cheney and CIA Director Porter Goss met with Senator John McCain last Thursday in an effort to get McCain to support language in the defense appropriations bill that would let the CIA do it. What, you ask, is it? Torture detainees, of course.

After the Senate passed the McCain amendment to bar the abuse of detainees (by a 90-9 vote) almost three weeks ago, the Bush Administration began lobbying Congress to preserve the ability of officials of the United States government to use torture as a means of interrogating suspected terrorists. Now it appears that effort has come to include a direct appeal from the Vice President to Senator McCain asking McCain to amend his own amendment so that at least the CIA could continue to torture prisoners.

McCain told Cheney and Goss no.

There was a time, believe it or not, when American presidents--both Republicans and Democrats--uniformly condemned torture. Now we have a president who is threatening to veto the defense appropriations bill if an amendment banning torture or one mandating an independent commission to investigate the torture of detainees is attached.

God have mercy.