A Moment Of Humanity In The Bush Administration

In a surprisingly positive move, Bush yesterday issued new guidelines to the CIA forbidding the use of torture against detainees held in the War On Terror.

Bush’s executive order “laid out broad guidelines for how the CIA must treat detainees in its secret overseas prisons, where the administration has held some suspects without giving them access to the Red Cross. The document prohibits a range of abuses, including “intentionally causing serious bodily injury” and “forcing the individual to perform sexual acts,” as well as mistreating the Koran,” according to the Boston Globe.

The order further establishes that detainees must receive food, water, clothing, medical care, and other similar necessities, and that the CIA director must approve of all interrogation techniques in order to prevent any sort of cruel or inhumane punishment.

True, these are measures one would hope would be taken for granted, and the order conspicuously mentions nothing about “soft” torture techniques, such as sleep deprivation, prolonged shackling in painful stress positions, or “waterboarding,” a technique that produces the sensation of drowning. But the order is a step in the right direction, and rather impressive considering the administration from which it comes. I think it is important to criticize governments when they deserve it – and complement them, likewise.

So, it’s a little strange to say this but: good job Bush administration!

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