It's no longer news that the Bush Administration has promoted torture in the name of fighting terrorism and national security.
In today's Tulsa World, columnist Eugene Robinson identifies some of the moral and ethical problems of the administration's torture policies.
It's hard to believe, Robinson writes, that Bush, "to his eternal shame and our nation's great discredit, [has] made torture a matter of hair-splitting, legalistic debate at the highest levels of the United States government."
Using legalistic language, the Bush boys redefined torture and then wrote a series of self-exculpatory memos to justify their "enhanced techniques." Example: One memo cited by Robinson said that a "torturer needed only the 'honest belief' that he was not actually committing torture in order to avoid legal jeopardy."
Call this the "get out of jail free card"—It can't be torture because I never believed I was committing torture.
Both Barack Obama and John McCain have denounced U.S. torture policies, although McCain, a former POW, recently voted against legislation that would have restrained the CIA's interrogation techniques. But even McCain has said consistently said that waterboarding is torture, no matter what the administration claims.
Meanwhile, Oklahoma politicians have been noticeably silent on this issue. As far as we can tell, Senators Infohe and Coburn have nothing to say on the issue. Ditto Rep. John Sullivan, Tulsa's answer to a potted plant.
Robinson, however, gets it right: George Bush will likely be remembered "as the president who embraced torture."