Wednesday, September 20, 2006

The case of Maher Arar, a Canadian Muslim allegedly tortured in Syria after being taken there by the CIA, warrants scrutiny. So, indeed, does the whole practice of rendition, a favorite of the Clinton administration long before the Sept. 11 attacks...

But with the lives of 300 million Americans at stake, the United States cannot make national security policy based on individual anecdotes about government roguishness...

Yes, rogues need to be rooted out. But the vast majority of our agents are honorable. They will follow the rules if Congress tells them what is and is not permissible...
The new schtick among these people is that the Bush Administration is just waiting for Congress to "tell them" the difference between right and wrong.

But this is just a political dodge to confuse the punters. If Congress told Bush, "No torture, no extraordinary renditions to torture-friendly states, and write a 500-word essay on why torture is wrong," Bush would get Secretary Rice or some other sap to write the essay, and go on torturing and extraditing nonetheless.

They promise only to leave the job of torture to "honorable" agents, who are implicitly trustworthy, perhaps because they've been properly vetted by their committees.

These people don't care about anything -- including, for all their talk, good and evil -- except power. Today it's just a little more obvious.

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