TEXAS VERSUS BUSH

Every single major Texas paper has come out in favor of the McCain amendment barring torture and abuse of detainees and clarifying rules for their treatment. From the Houston Chronicle:

[N]o president should have the authority or flexibility to order the torture or abuse of prisoners. It doesn’t produce usable intelligence, it endangers the safety of captured U.S. troops and it’s wrong on its face. The similarity of the alleged mistreatment at Guantanamo Bay to the documented prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib and other prisons in Iraq and Afghanistan suggests a pattern of official encouragement or indifference.

The San Antonio Express-News:

The White House has threatened a presidential veto. During nearly five years in the Oval Office, Bush has yet to veto a bill. This is not the place to start.

The Fort Worth Star-Telegram:

What the president and others who might oppose this legislation must understand is that this country can never own the moral high ground — in war or peace — if it is willing to do what it condemns others for doing.

And the Austin American-Statesman. This is, of course, a no-brainer – as long as you assume that this president isn’t committed to torture and abuse as a policy. But he is and long has been. Moreover, reversing what has been going on completely strips him of his defense that none of it happened, or that only a few incidents occurred, or that no one higher up knew, or whatever his latest spin is. He may have to veto to maintain the fallacious facade of the last three years. With any luck, the House will vote by a non-vetoable margin, just as the Senate has. But if Bush is forced to veto, so be it. Let him be forced to embrace publicly what he has enforced privately: the corruption of the moral integrity of the armed services of the United States. And let him finally be held to account.

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