July 17, 2004

Do We Care that We Torture?

Earlier I expressed some hope that Sen. John Warner's Armed Services Committee would look into American torture of Iraqis at Abu Ghraib, and maybe those allegations of raping children. Sorry:

The Congressional investigation into the abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison has virtually ground to halt, as a senior Senate Republican said Thursday that no new hearings would be held on the matter until this fall at the earliest.

Democrats and a few Republicans have called for hearings soon, "[b]ut House Republicans and, privately, some Senate Republicans say Mr. Warner, by holding more hearings, would only hand Democrats an explosive campaign issue."

Look. It's pretty simple. Either you think it's a big deal that the U.S. government tortured Iraqis and others, or you don't. If you do, you want to find out what happened regardless of the election schedule. If you don't, you can go with Republican Congressman Ray LaHood (I think not discussing torture specifically):

Our party controls the levers of government. We're not about to go out and look beneath a bunch of rocks to try to cause heartburn.

So you have to ask yourself, when you decide who to vote for--for President or Congress--do you think torture calls for an investigation, or is it OK to cover it up for political gain?

(Links via Matt Yglesias at TAPPED. The Jonathan Chait article with the LaHood quote is excellent on the Bush Administration's low regard for democracy.)

Posted by Matt Weiner at July 17, 2004 12:45 PM