Sunday, March 27, 2005

Torture Redux

When Alberto Gonzales was appointed to become the next attorney general of the United States, he pledged that, as the highest law enforcement official of the United States, he would not support the use of torture.

Very reassuring.

Now, the United States is reportedly revising the procedures to be used in trying terrorism suspects now held at Guantanamo Bay, and one the changes (according the New York Times) is that the commissions established by the government of the United States will be "barring confessions obtained by torture".

Is this really necessary?

Is it really necessary for the officers and government of the United States to promise that they don't intend to obtain and use "confessions" obtained by inflicting as much pain as is necessary for a prisoner to say whatever it is you want them to say?

I thought that that we settled that with the Revolutionary War, the rejection of the "Star Chamber", and the adoption of the 5th Amendment.

Did the present administration somehow skip the lecture on basic civics, humanity, and morality?

Friday, March 25, 2005

Schiavo v. Schindler: Round Two

From the NY Times on 3/25/2005:

"If Ms. Schiavo dies, her parents, Roman Catholics, want her buried at a cemetery in Florida. But Mr. Felos [attorney for Michael Schiavo] said she would be cremated and her remains interred at her husband's family plot in the Philadelphia suburbs."

It's a relief to know that Ms. Schiavo's death will not end the disputes, and that her husband and parents will be able to continue to litigate even after her death.

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

Russian Oil/Freedom

Yesterday (3/21/2005), in Brussels, President Bush urged European leaders to put more pressure on Russia to maintain democratic freedoms, saying:

We must always remind Russia, however, that our alliance stands for a free press, a vital opposition, the sharing of power, and the rule of law -- and the United States and all European countries should place democratic reform at the heart of their dialogue with Russia.

On the evening news, it was suggested that European countries are reluctant to take tough stands with Russia because many of those countries are heavily dependent on Russia oil.

It's good to see President Bush taking a tough stand, uncowed by the politics of oil.

But I wonder when he will apply the same toughness to his friends in the Saudi royal family?