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Grand Inquisitor Cheney

Even the New York Times is appalled at the direction the Republic has taken, pinning the tail on the donkey Dick Cheney, modern Grand Inquisitor:

The place to begin is with Dick Cheney, the dark force behind many of the administration’s most disastrous policies, like the Iraq invasion and the stubborn resistance to energy conservation. Right now, the vice president is devoting himself to beating back Congressional legislation that would prohibit the torture of prisoners. This is truly a remarkable set of priorities: his former chief aide was indicted, Mr. Cheney’s back is against the wall, and he’s declared war on the Geneva Conventions.

It’s amazing that a public figure can stand up in the United States and advocate torture. That it could be the vice-president of the land boggles the imagination:

In the Congress, Sen. John McCain, with support from 89 colleagues, is pushing a separate measure to ban cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment of any detainee in U.S. custody — against veto threats from the White House and fierce opposition from Cheney and his new chief of staff, David Addington, who are maneuvering to exempt clandestine CIA activities from oversight. And reporters have uncovered a network of “black sites” in Eastern Europe and elsewhere — secret detention camps run by the CIA, where suspects are being held and brutally interrogated.

The idea that torture could be so publicly defensible — and the news that the United States is maintaining secret facilities in former Soviet-era prisons for torturing nameless and disappeared people — fills me with shame and horror. And while it’s encouraging that John McCain, who was himself tortured as a prisoner of war, wants to make it illegal to strap naked prisoners to boards and hold them under water, electrocute them or mock-execute them, it’s profoundly depressing that the discourse about torture has come to this point.

Even as a critical observer of American culture since childhood (one of the privileges/disadvantages of growing up in Canada), I am not prepared for this. The nominal good guys are passing laws which make Nazis look like camp counsellors gone bad.

Are these guys directly inspired by the Dark Lord Sauron or am I missing something?

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