Friday, September 29, 2006


Well, the US is now officially a country of torture.

I think Molly Ivins gets it right when she guesses the bill is about CYA for past Bush Administration torture abuses more than anything else.

Bush is afraid of what might happen if the upcoming election costs him his legislative cover from a Republican majority. Things like this (reported by Ivins) probably concern him somewhat.
The first reported case of death by torture by Americans was in The New York Times in 2003 by Carlotta Gall. The military had announced the prisoner died of a heart attack, but when Gall actually saw the death certificate, written in English and issued by the military, it said the cause of death was homicide. The "heart attack" came after he had been beaten so often on this legs that they had "basically been pulpified," according to the coroner.

The Lippard Blog points out that in Arizona the house vote was right down party lines, republican congressmen voted for the bill, Arizona democrats against. Overall it wasn't a perfect partly line split, but close.

Glenn Greenwald has a good summary of last minute attempts to amend the bill and the final content of the bill.

Here's the final house vote. Seven republicans voted against the bill. Thirty-four democrats voted for it.

It's not clear to me whether or not citizenship even matters with these new rules for secret prisons for political dissent. At least some think much of the bills application to citizens is unconstitutional on its face.

I know we've already changed the rules for naturalized citizens. That's a personal concern for me because my mother has been living here 58 years, a citizen for 53 years, but was born elsewhere so she's subject to deportation on little more than a whim.

If this doesn't make you ashamed to be an American then I don't know what to say. This is really bad stuff.

I'll write more on this later.

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