Friday, June 11, 2004

Bush's comments on torture

The President Sidesteps a Question About Whether Torture Is Ever Justified

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush said Thursday he ordered U.S. officials to follow the law while interrogating suspected terrorists, but he sidestepped an opportunity to denounce the use of torture.
Bush's comments came as a 2-year-old State Department document surfaced warning the White House that failing to apply international standards against torture could put U.S. troops at risk.

"What I've authorized is that we stay within U.S. law," Bush told reporters at the close of the G-8 summit in Savannah, Ga.

Asked if torture is ever justified, Bush replied, "Look, I'm going to say it one more time. ... The instructions went out to our people to adhere to law. That ought to comfort you."

"That ought to comfort you." Well, George, as angry as I am, I'm not the one who needs comforting. INTERNATIONAL standards for the treatment of prisoners of war are in place to protect everyone. The idea is reciprocity. But because the world knows how we treat prisoners of war our soldiers and citizens abroad are in greater danger. The Bush administration may think it's ok to play coy and call all these people enemy combatants, but in the eyes of the world POWs are POWs, and if a state refuses to treat POWs by the rules it suffers the consequences. It ought to comfort our dead and our missing.