Tuesday, February 07, 2006

The War at Home
One of the reasons Americans don't seem all that upset about torture, I think, is that the people who are getting tortured are not being tortured on American soil, taken from American soil, or are not Americans at all. It's happening to people from other countries, in other countries, and everyone knows how poor we are at finding our own country on a map, let alone other countries. But what's worried me about torture from the beginning is that there's absolutely nothing--not one damn thing--stopping He Who Shall Not Be Named from ordering American citizens to be tortured on American soil. If the Constitution doesn't have to apply to various brown people with funny names, it doesn't have to apply to us, either.

Given what Newsweek is reporting this week, such an order may not be far off. The Justice Department discussed scenarios recently regarding whether the president could order the killing of a terrorist on American soil--not necessarily one planning an imminent attack, but merely one we'd identified as such. (Rather like Israel has done for years.) The answer, of course, is going to be yes, no matter how much administration officials deny it, because as Abu Gonzales has made clear this week, the president can do whatever the president wants because we're at war.

And if they can kill them here, certainly they can torture them here, particularly if the standard is that they need merely to be suspected terrorists. And if they can torture foreign terror suspects here, then they can torture homegrown suspects, too. There's little question in my mind that once we start "fighting" this "war" on American soil, bringing the rest of it home is a mighty short trip.

From Another Lifetime: Before I became a low-rent pundit with this crappy blog--many years before--I was a radio DJ. At my other blog, The Hits Just Keep On Comin', readers occasionally ask if I've got any airchecks of old shows that they can hear. I finally put one up today. Click at your own risk.

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