liberal ["liberalis" L - suitable for a freeman, generous; "eleutheros" Gk - free] (adj) generous, open-minded, not subjugated to authoritarian domination; (n) one who believes in liberty, universal suffrage and the free exchange of ideas. elite ["eslire" Fr -- to choose fr.L "eligere" -- choose] (n) the choice part; best of a class; the socially superior part of society.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Nobody Believes You

cross-posted at Daily Kos

The AFP headline was: Rice "Clears Air" over CIA row with Europe.

Usually we can count on AFP to give us a little bit of a brighter view of these things--but not here.
"It was a good discussion. I think it cleared the air," said NATO chief Jaap de Hoop Scheffer, referring to a dinner Wednesday night gathering Rice with her NATO and EU colleagues.
That would be the "Torture Dinner with Rice."
Specifically Rice said that Washington's obligations under an international convention prohibiting cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment "extend to US personnel wherever they are, whether they are in the US or outside the US."

She reiterated that message in Brussels. "We recognize our obligations, our policy recognizes our obligations, whether activities are undertaken inside the United States or outside the United States," told reporters.
What she failed to point out is that even though we recognize our obligations, we can't always manage to live up to them 100%--nobody's perfect. Furthermore, when our detainees are imprisoned on foreign soil, our obligations don't really extend as far as they would on "homeland" (read, "Fatherland") soil. In fact, if somebody is in jail under the jurisdiction of one of our noble coalition partners, all we can do is pray and beseech them not to torture the guys.

So you see we live up to OUR obligations, and we try to extend them to foreign soil, even though, as in countless recent cases, that has proven to be impossible.

The Washington Post, in a piece today by Kessler and White, tried to put the best face of the Secretary of State's remarks. But they went on to say,
The Bush administration has long said that the U.S. government will not engage in torture. But it has argued in the past that restrictions on cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment do not apply outside U.S. territory.

Before she left for Europe on Monday, Rice issued a detailed statement on U.S. policy on treatment of prisoners, intending to dampen the furor on the continent. She said, among other things, that "the United States government does not authorize or condone torture of detainees." But she did not define torture.

Lame duckism. Nobody believes them anymore. No matter what they say, nobody will believe them.


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