The Washington Post compounds this with news I had anticipated. Let me just lift the text from the story as my typing skills diminish when I'm angry:
"The Bush administration has proposed exempting employees of the Central Intelligence Agency from a legislative measure endorsed earlier this month by 90 members of the Senate that would bar cruel and degrading treatment of any prisoners in U.S. custody.
The proposal, which two sources said Vice President Cheney handed last Thursday to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) in the company of CIA Director Porter J. Goss, states that the measure barring inhumane treatment shall not apply to counterterrorism operations conducted abroad or to operations conducted by "an element of the United States government" other than the Defense Department."
From a WaPo editorial: "Mr. Cheney's counsel, David S. Addington, was reportedly one of the principal authors of a legal memo justifying the torture of suspects. This summer Mr. Cheney told several Republican senators that President Bush would veto the annual defense spending bill if it contained language prohibiting the use of cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by any U.S. personnel."
This on the heels of repeated denials of the United States of America needing to conform to the Geneva Convention (which saved more than a few American soldiers and hostages in it's time). Apparently, if our government decrees someone a terrorist suspect, our government can torture or kill them at leisure and the rest of the world can say fuck all about it. For any of you who say this is necessary and/or that they've killed innocent Americans, note that we have killed more of them. How can this country be above the law and decree that no one else is?
At complete odds with this, detainees that have gone on hunger strikes are being force fed. There are claims of torture in this issue as well.
Extremes need to be avoided on both sides of this issue. The strongest voice for this is The Dartmouth's Michael Belinsky. "I believe that we should not gravitate towards either extreme -- full permission or full prohibition -- but instead establish a pragmatic policy of evaluating the threats on an individual basis. Such a law would provide the United States with the necessary moral and political authority to protect its citizens from foreign and domestic threats. It will also endow our nation with the greatest responsibility: acting as the world's policeman."