President Bush was presented with a letter Monday signed by 50 high school seniors in the Presidential Scholars program urging a halt to "violations of the human rights" of terror suspects held by the United States.First, of course, we don't torture, because we re-wrote the dictionaries. Maybe these young scholars would like a new copy. But compare their thorough scholarship with the President's reported response:
The White House said Bush had not expected the letter but took a moment to read it and talk with a young woman who handed it to him.
"The president enjoyed a visit with the students, accepted the letter and upon reading it let the student know that the United States does not torture and that we value human rights," deputy press secretary Dana Perino said.
The students had been invited to the East Room to hear the president speak about his effort to win congressional reauthorization of his education law known as No Child Left Behind.
The handwritten letter said the students "believe we have a responsibility to voice our convictions."
"We do not want America to represent torture. We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees, to cease illegal renditions, and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees, including those designated enemy combatants," the letter said.
a) "We do not want America to represent torture."
b) "We urge you to do all in your power to stop violations of the human rights of detainees,"
c) "to cease illegal renditions,"
d) "and to apply the Geneva Convention to all detainees,including those designated enemy combatants"
And the answer is: "We don't torture." The rest of that stuff? We're gonna keep doin' it.
Dick Cheney must be so proud. Especially since the President took the words right out of his mouth:
In a radio interview last fall, Cheney said, "We don't torture." What he did not acknowledge, according to Alberto J. Mora, who served then as the Bush-appointed Navy general counsel, was that the new legal framework was designed specifically to avoid a ban on cruelty. In international law, Mora said, cruelty is defined as "the imposition of severe physical or mental pain or suffering." He added: "Torture is an extreme version of cruelty."So, see, we don't torture. We're just cruel. Very, very cruel. But that's okay.
Cheney can be proud of his minion. The rest of us can only be proud of these fine scholars. They are the hope of America. Now if the Congress would just take their concerns seriously.