Friday, September 22, 2006

I Voted For Torture

So said Lynn Westmoreland yesterday. It was a joke, naturally:

Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-Ga.) said Thursday he was making a joking reference and did not mean to be taken literally when he said at two recent events that he "voted for torture."

"What I should have said was that I voted against an anti-torture bill that did not define what torture was," Westmoreland said.

The lawmaker made the comment in appearances at a Georgia Christian Coalition dinner Saturday and at a Douglas County Chamber of Commerce luncheon Tuesday.

There is a more hideous joke in this, the one about the Christian Coalition dinner being the place at which such jokes might be found funny. Whom would Jesus torture?

The text of the "compromise" agreement on the treatment of detainees in the war on fear is now available (pdf). This part states who really won the debate:

3) INTERPRETATION BY THE PRESIDENT.— As provided by the Constitution
and by this section, the President has the authority for the United States to interpret the
meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions and to promulgate higher standards
and administrative regulations for violations of treaty obligations which are not grave
breaches of the Geneva Conventions.
(B) The President shall issue such interpretations by Executive Order published in
the Federal Register, and such orders shall be authoritative (as to non-grave breach
provisions) as a matter of United States law, in the same manner as other administrative

George Bush can still interpret to his heart's content, but some time later human rights activists can read in the Federal Register if anybody got waterboarded in the past.