Today we learned that top Congressional Democrats were briefed by the CIA on their plans to torture detainees in secret facilities in other countries, starting in 2002. While I’ve been hard on the Republicans for the part they’ve played in supporting the torture of suspected supporters of terrorism, the Democrats deserve plenty of blame as well. Extraordinary rendition was introduced by the Clinton administration, and while the Democrats have not given torture their full-throated support, they haven’t done much to oppose it, either. And let’s be blunt, I knew back in 2002 that the United States was torturing prisoners, does anyone really believe that the Democrats in Congress didn’t?
The bottom line for me is that I’m not going to vote for anybody who’s a supporter of torture, extraordinary rendition, secret prisons, or any other practices that violate our Constitution or the treaties that the United States has ratified. I didn’t vote for the Democratic incumbent in the Congressional election last time because he voted in favor of the Military Commissions Act of 2006, and I won’t be voting for any torture apologists in 2008.
Oh, and don’t buy the argument that the people in Congress couldn’t speak up. Michael Froomkin explains why that’s not the case.