Powell Keeps Up The Pressure
Colin Powell speaks out about his letter of opposition to the Bush Administration’s plans to “redefine” the Geneva Convention protocols as it sees fit:
Former secretary of state Colin L. Powell said yesterday that he decided to publicly oppose the Bush administration's proposed rules for the treatment of terrorism suspects in part because the plan would add to growing doubts about whether the United States adheres to its own moral code.
"If you just look at how we are perceived in the world and the kind of criticism we have taken over Guantanamo, Abu Ghraib and renditions," Powell said in an interview, "whether we believe it or not, people are now starting to question whether we're following our own high standards."
And while Powell stands up and speaks out on the issue, the right wing spinmeisters, full of anonymous quotes to the Washington Post, are spinning the dispute into a political loser for John McCain for 2008, because he had the temerity to oppose the Talladega Flyboy on this issue. Even their sycophants are convinced that opposing Bush on torture will hurt in 2008:
"They're not spooked by the opposition by McCain," said William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard. "They believe they can win the issue legislatively . . . and if a few Republicans join all the Democrats, so be it." Although he professed respect for the senator for following his principles, Kristol said "it hurts McCain" politically because "it's just not where most Republicans are."
Of course Kristol and Bush for that matter never wore the uniform in a war zone, they just play soldier while sitting on their asses. Kristol overestimates Bush’s support inside the Senate on this issue (there are now eight GOP senators against Bush), and he glosses over the fact that now House GOP Judiciary Committee chairman Henry Hyde wants to revisit the issue as well. But Kristol does point out that the GOP base supports torture and has no moral qualms about this country lowering itself and its legacy into the gulag to save the bedwetting cultists from the bogeymen under their beds. Even if the GOP cultist base supports torture, the country as a whole does not, and there is no downside here for Democrats to isolate the far right base of the GOP demonstrating a willingness to take the country down into the morass of illegitimacy and our enemies.