Friday, September 22, 2006


Senators McCain, Warner, and Graham have sprung the trap they appear to have been planning all along, and agreed to legalize and rubber-stamp torture along with Stalinist showtrials in which people are executed on the basis of secret evidence. The highly theatrical charade they conducted does nothing for the values they claim to have been defending, or for American soldiers who might in the future be taken prisoner abroad. But it does provide enormous political aid to Bush, to Republican candidates in the midterm elections, and to McCain's 2008 Presidential campaign. This presumably was the whole idea from the start. The Democrats have only themselves to blame for marching right into the trap.

In a just world, Senator McCain would get to relive his past and re-experience the torture that he has now endorsed. I remember people saying of Hubert Humphrey, a long time ago, that the hunger to be President had eaten away all of the good things that had once been inside him. But Humphrey can't compare to McCain - a man who has now endorsed and will soon have legally enshrined, not torture to save American lives, but needless, pointless, gratuitous torture in the face of a consensus by the experts who actually do interrogations that it is not a useful tool.

I increasingly think of myself not as an American, but as a New Yorker and East Coast resident. I am proud of my culture and society, and will put it up against anyone's. But it is that of my region, not of this country.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I honestly don't think the Republicans are smart enough to have planned this result in advance. I think it only looks that way because the Democrats stupidly let McCain be their leader on this issue. Since he is running for president, it was a foregone conclusion that, at the end of the day, he would find some way to cut a deal with Bush. When that happened, the Democrats were hung out to dry. They cannot now turn against McCain without making themselves look like idiots for having invested so much in his earlier opposition to the legislation. In short, it was Democratic stupidity, nit Republican brillians that led to this result.