I do hope that the members of the Senate who vote “aye” on the torture legislation (the House did so, today) realize that once it’s done, we can’t go back.
I’d like to think they’ve thought this through (fat chance) because it has a far broader purpose, in its vague wording, than to simply allow the government of this country to torture “terrorists” in the hope of getting information that will help keep all Americans safe from attacks like those on Sept. 11, 2001.
The language is so vague, and so broad, so easily interpreted to mean whatever the interpreter wishes it to mean, that it will turn America into a police state.
Under this legislation, anyone who “engages in hostilities against the United States” now includes “anyone who has purposefully and materially supported hostilities against the United States.” Under this legislation, people who do this are “unlawful enemy combatants.”
Once again, we’re engaged in a war of semantics, one that no one can win. What defines “support?” What does “hostilities” mean? How about “purposefully?”
At this moment, there are good Americans all over this nation who are appalled by this torture legislation, and large numbers of them are speaking out against it, as they have the terrible stupidity and crime of the war in Iraq and against the very thought of attacking Iran, with or without nuclear weapons.
Will these Americans one day be victims of the easy, broad interpretation of the torture bill? By speaking out, will their government consider them as “unlawful enemy combatants?”