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Asking Democrats To Stand Up To The Bush Administration on Torture

Reported by Ellen - January 26, 2005

"Democrats ought to die on this hill," Alan Colmes said last night on his radio show, meaning that Democrats should wage an all out war on the nominations of Alberto Gonzales and Condoleezza Rice. He read some very disturbing excerpts from a new article in Knight Ridder newspapers stating that Gonzales now asserts that "There's a legal rationale for harsh treatment of foreign prisoners by U.S. forces" and that "the Convention Against Torture treaty, as ratified by the Senate, doesn't prohibit the use of 'cruel, inhuman or degrading' tactics on non-U.S. citizens who are captured abroad, in Iraq or elsewhere."

The Knight Ridder article also states:

Gonzales described recent reports of prisoner abuse as "shocking and deeply troubling." But he refused to answer questions from senators about whether interrogation tactics witnessed by FBI agents were unlawful. He warned that any public discussion about interrogation tactics would help al-Qaida terrorists by giving them "a road map" of what to expect when captured. He also said the administration was conducting a comprehensive legal review of all practices and that the Justice Department, so far, had concluded that the tactics were lawful.

Colmes also played some clips of Ted Kennedy and Barbara Boxer speaking on the floor of the Senate yesterday against the Rice nomination. In no time, a caller named Bobbie who said she was a long-time military wife with a son in Iraq was on the line complaining that speaking out against the war was helping the terrorists and that Boxer and Kennedy were only grandstanding.

"Isn't it our job to ask tough questions of whoever's in power?" Colmes asked. Apparently, she didn't think so. Shortly thereafter, she hung up on him.

Comment: It was clear from the anguish in her voice that Sandy feared for the safety of her son and that is certainly understandable. But being intimidated into silence about torture and mismanagement of the war in Iraq is not going to keep her son safer. In fact, it would probably make things worse as we look like hypocrites espousing liberty but condoning torture and giving the same people who botched their current jobs in the war on terror significant promotions.

Come on, Dems. Develop some backbone!

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