Monday, December 29, 2008

The John Sydney McCain Memorial Crappie Award

This edition of the award goes not to an individual or even a group of politicians, but instead to an entire federal Cabinet department.

From AP via AZCentral.com -
MIAMI - U.S. prosecutors want a Miami judge to sentence the son of former Liberian President Charles Taylor to 147 years in prison for torturing people when he was chief of a brutal paramilitary unit during his father's reign.

Charles McArthur Emmanuel, also known as Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr. is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 9 by U.S. District Judge Cecilia M. Altonaga. His conviction was the first use of a 1994 law allowing prosecution in the U.S. for acts of torture committed overseas.

A recent Justice Department court filing describes torture - which the U.S. has been accused of in the war on terror - as a "flagrant and pernicious abuse of power and authority" that warrants severe punishment of Taylor.

Umm...so the Department of Justice is prosecuting an American citizen for torturing others (the appropriate section of the US Code here). Sounds great, except that the reason the guy has been prosecuted isn't that he is a torturer, but that he wasn't a torturer for the Bush Administration.

On the other hand, when those who are ordering or performing the torture are doing so at the behest of the Bushies, the FBI and the rest of the Department of Justice turn a blind eye to those crimes.

Torture is wrong, period.

It's one topic where that widely-held moral position matches up with long-established U.S. law and international treaties.

And for hypocritically forgetting that fact just because it's convenient merits bestowing a Crappie Award to the entire Department of Justice.


Note - just to be clear here, my problem isn't with the sought-after sentence for Taylor (147 years). If anything, it's far more merciful that he deserves. Nope, my problem is with the double standard that says torture is OK if it's practiced to further the Bush Administration's agenda.

2 comments:

goooooood girl said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
cpmaz said...

Spam again.