A President who favors torture?

The U.S. Senate will soon debate two amendments to a bill that will provide the Defence Department's funding. The amendments are intended to prevent the abuse of prisoners in U.S. custody, which seems to happen quite a bit in many different places around the world.

Both proposals have been opposed by the White House. President Bush threatens to veto any bill that contains the no-torture policy amendment introduced by Senator John McCain. It's not too surprising that the Bush regime would take such a wrong position.

What is surprising is that it's unlikely that the United States Senate would override Bush's veto. It may not be possible to have 67 of our 100 senators defy the President and vote against his desire to keep using torture as a interrogation tool.

On the floor of the US Senate, the use of torture against "suspects" in "detention" will be defended. At the very heart of our democratic republic, facism will – once again – be justified with words of fear and revenge. And in the end, at least 34 of our Senators will probably support the idea of American soldiers or operatives dehumanizing and abusing a few of the Others.

It shouldn't be surprising, I suppose – our government has a long history of sanctioning barbaric acts against Others, and there's always been those who justify cruelty by citing some kind of threat, including our current Attorney General. But the issue of establishing an official no-torture policy is pretty easy to support, regardless of circumstances. It's a patriotic bandwagon to ride in, and I expected more elected officials to jump aboard.

The Christian community has been largely quiet on this issue, too. I can't imagine that Son of God would remain quiet about the torture of many of his brothers or sisters, yet few who claim to share his faith are calling for the state to end this decidedly un-Christian behavior. In their Sunday sermons, how many pastors, priests and ministers are denouncing the torture of prisoners by US authorities?

I suppose it's just the ancient human folly of demonizing the Other, then become those very demons by mistreating the Other. It seems we haven't evolved past that foolishness even now in the 21st Century, here at the pinnacle of the modern world.

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