Death Takes a Holiday
While America watches, slack-jawed, the interminable parade Rude Pundit calls "Pope Corpse" and president Bush breaks precedent to attend the funeral as part of his continuing "appropriation" of the 'culture of life' meme, the BBC's news bureau brings word of Amnesty International's annual survey of government-ordered executions around the world.
The U.S. once again made it into the Final Four. Winners in the 2004 Death Tournament are, in order:
- the United States
- Saudi Arabia and
Out of the top six killer nations, two are our fast friends, four are major trading partners, and only one do we treat as an adversary. The full report can be accessed by surfing to Amnesty International.
Don't let anyone tell you this doesn't matter because we just kill bad guys while they are probably killing good guys. As Amnesty's accompanying press release points out --
"In 2004, Ryan Matthews became the 115th prisoner in the USA since 1973 to be released from death row on the grounds of innocence. He had been sentenced to death in Louisiana in 1999 for a murder committed when he was 17 years old. His death sentence was overturned in April 2004 after an appeal judge found that the prosecution had suppressed evidence at the trial, and on the basis of DNA evidence that pointed to another person as being the murderer."And which among our nation's states has been the worst death merchant? Texas, with 24 deliberately killed in 2004.
Just who do you suppose is the chief cheerleader for this 'culture of death'? Take one guess:he's named right here.
None of this, of course, includes the non-judicial killings of an estimated one hundred thousand civilians in Iraq or the murders of unknown other prisoners in our custody in Iraq. Nor does it take into account the Bush administration's efforts over the past four years at the federal level
to expand executions.
Right to Life, anyone? Bush in Rome is more like Death on a Holiday.