Apr 192009

The other day I got an e-mail from democrats.com directing me to their “No Amnesty for Torturers” campaign. I’m not sure that these people have any official connection to the Democrat Party, but they do seem to identify with it.

On the surface, one could get the impression that they are against torture:

…Torture is utterly immoral and un-American. It produced absolutely no useful intelligence . It recruited terrorists responsible for at least half the U.S. deaths in Iraq . And it endangered every U.S. soldier who may be captured in the future.

And torture is absolutely illegal. The U.S. ratified the United Nations Convention Against Torture , which prohibits torture and requires prosecution of torturers. In 1947, the U.S. prosecuted a Japanese officer for waterboarding. No lawyer can “legalize” what is illegal.

Congress must take the following actions:

1. Demand the appointment of a Special Prosecutor by Attorney General Eric Holder for torture, warrantless wiretapping, and other heinous crimes of the Bush Administration. (Thanks to Rep. Jerrold Nadler for leading the way !)

2. Prohibit the use of any taxpayer dollars to defend government officials who committed such crimes against lawsuits, or to pay for judgments against them.

3. Impeach Judge Jay Bybee, the torture memo author who serves on the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in California.

4. Protect human rights by restoring Habeas Corpus and the Fourth Amendment (search and seizure), including repeal of the Orwellian-named Protect America Act, U.S.A. Patriot Act, the FISA Amendments, and Military Commissions Act.

5. End secret government by prohibiting use of “State Secrets,” “Sovereign Immunity” and “Signing Statements.”

But if Democrats were really against torture, they wouldn’t have let a delegation of Democrat Congressppeople go to Cuba to fawn over the Western hemisphere’s chief torturer.

Rep. Bobby Rush even gushed, “In my household I told Castro he is known as the ultimate survivor.”

Yeah, sure. Too bad not all of Fidel’s victims survived his torture chambers. Roberto López Chávez was one who was not a survivor.

And the current president, also a Democrat, recently got all friendly with Hugo Chavez, a buddy of Fidel’s who is trying to continue that man’s role in this hemisphere.

If the people at democrats.com truly want to oppose torture, maybe they ought to try cleaning up their own ranks first. But lacking any action like that, I think it will be safe to conclude that they are NOT opposed to torture after all. They just hate George Bush.

BTW, I actually support most of items 4 and 5 in the list of actions that democrats.com wants Congress to take. But I question whether democrats.com really wants all of what it says it wants.

And the U.S. should have removed its embargo on Cuba nearly 20 years ago. Democrats who want to change U.S. policy in that direction could do so by going to Cuba and showing solidarity with those victims who have survived Fidel’s torture. But getting all chummy with the chief torturer himself is not sending the right message.