"The wealthy, not only by private fraud but also by common laws, do every day pluck and snatch away from the people some part of their daily living. Therefore, when I consider and weigh in my mind these commonwealths which nowadays do flourish, I perceive nothing but a certain conspiracy of rich men in procuring their own commodities under the name and authority of the commonwealth.

They invent and devise all means and crafts, first how to keep safely without fear of losing that which they have unjustly gathered together, and next how to hire and abuse the work and labor of the people for as little money and effort as possible."

Thomas More, Utopia

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Crossing The Rubicon On Torture

Today the Senate completed the job begun by the House Wednesday in approving compromise legislation that gives the Bush administration the green light to reinterpret, i.e circumvent the Geneva Conventions on prisoners of war. The Bush administration felt congressional cover was essential given the recent Supreme Court ruling that confirmed the applicability of the Geneva Conventions to prisoners held by the US at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba and elsewhere. This ruling left senior members of the administration (including the President) vulnerable to future prosecution for war crimes. Our domesticated Congress, however, saw to it that Bush and his merry band of henchmen--the same dangerous reactionaries that have led our nation along its current path to pariah status-- will never be held accountable for their actions.

Where does this leave us? Will these controversial methods of interrogation--long in practice but now given a veneer of legitimacy--be effective in protecting the American public from acts of terror? Former Soviet dissident Vladimir Bukovsky who would spend a dozen years in Soviet prisons, labor camps, and "psychiatric hospitals", for his human rights activities begs to differ.

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