John Kerry (Democrat): This bill gives an administration that lobbied for torture exactly what it wanted.
No, this administration did not lobby for torture. It lobbied for a free and unfettered hand in conducting its “war on terrorism” by whatever means it deems necessary and effective … which may include means that most people would consider torture. The problem here is not leaders that advocate cruelty, but leaders that believe that they should be given “extraordinary” and unilateral latitude in getting the job done. Getting it done is more important than how it is done.
But one of the cornerstones of democracy is that how it is done is of utmost importance!
John Warner (Republican): Enemy combatants are unlawful by all international standards in the manner in which they conduct war, and yet this great nation … is going to mete out a measure of justice.
A measure of justice? Why just a measure? Is “liberty and justice for all” mere hyberbole? Is justice to be meted out conditionally, depending on the perceived merits of the accused? Depending on the accused’s presumed political allegiances … religious allegiance … nationality … race? Is our “lawfulness” contingent on the “lawfulness” of our enemies? Of whomever we say is our enemy?
Do you see the very dangerous road down which such rhetoric — and such legislation — is leading us? A road that leads us not toward, but away, from liberty and justice?