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Monday, July 25, 2005

Everyone in the Bush Administration wholeheartedly supports anti-terror legislation, whether it's the Patriot Act or upticks in the military budget, but when it comes to anti-torture legislation, they prick up their noses and balk. The Washington Post:

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."


So let me see if I understand this correctly. The president wants the authority to do what he wishes, with no legal restraint, to detainees captured in the War on Terror. And this is good how? It might work in a dictatorship, where the rules change on a whim, but in our society, a society of law, giving anyone, especially the government, absolute authority to operate with no legal restraint is a VERY BAD IDEA. Why have law at that point, except to separate the ruler from the ruled?