Bill Clinton got roundly ridiculed and then impeached by congress for a sexual encounter that he tried to dismiss by quibbling over what the meaning of “is” is.
Yet, we now have a president who is engaged in a far more damning constitutional encounter that he is trying to dismiss by quibbling over what the meaning of “torture” is. Why isn’t he facing an impeachment inquiry?
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From Abu Ghraib to Guantanamo to extraordinary renditions, Bush and Gang have violated our own laws and international treaties that flatly prohibit torture of war prisoners. Yet, they keep trying to excuse their abhorrent behavior by writing secret memos to themselves redefining torture as… well… as not torture.
Two more of these self-excusing memos have recently surfaced from Bush’s misnamed justice department. Responding in 2005 to a new law passed by congress, and to Supreme Court decisions prohibiting “Cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment” of prisoners, Bush-appointed lawyers wrote a clandestine memo merrily defining CIA torture techniques as not being cruel, inhumane, and degrading. The revelation of this crude attempt to circumvent the laws of our land were so explosive that George himself had to be trotted out in a hastily-arranged press appearance to declare with a straight face: “This government does not torture people.”
Why should anyone believe him? Because I say so, says the prevaricator-in-chief. Of course, Bush refused to show us the memos, and his staff has even attacked the media for revealing that they exist. No one believes him, because… well, he’s unbelievable.
Clinton tried to mince words about a sexcapade. Bush is mincing words about running his own secret legal system in defiance of our Constitution. Let me ask you: Which offense do you think does the most harm and is the most impeachable?
“Bush Defends Interrogations, Saying Methods Aren’t Torture,” The New York Times, October 6, 2007
“More Torture Memos,” The Washington Post, October 7, 2007