Bush and the excuse that is terrorism

It seems that terrorism has given the US government license to do whatever it pleases. Every time there is something seemingly unethical or illegal, it’s in the name of counter-terrorism.

The scandal in Guantanamo Bay seems to have fallen by the way-side recently from a news perspective; I haven’t heard mention it for a few weeks now, ever since the UN declined a visit due to restrictions that would have been imposed by the US. The only possible reason for the decline in news coverage is that it’s old news, despite the fact that the associated scandal hasn’t gone away.

And last week, Condoleezza Rice defended America’s position with respect to secret CIA prisons in Europe, and the treatment of people under investigation.

For the past couple of months, rumour has been rife about Bush’s stance on a proposed new anti-torture law, reports suggesting that he would use his presidential status to veto the measure. Fortunately, he has backed down on his previous veto threats, even if this back-down has been forced by overwhelming political pressure as opposed to common sense.

And today, Bush is defending his position on secretly monitoring communications in the US. In so doing, he criticised the New York Times for exercising their constitutional right to freedom of speech, indicating that their reporting of this has resulted in enemies learning information they should not have. It seems naïve to think that if a journalist can find out such information, then al-Qaeda cannot.

It seems that by justifying a policy by referring back to 9/11 and terrorism, anything can be accepted. All of this from a president who allegedly recently referred to the Constitution as just a god-damned piece of paper.


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