A totalitarian America: Couldn't happen here?
Take a look at how American adopted its secret torture policy and think twice.
It's Cheney/Bush again, consolidating executive power, eliminating checks & balances, signing secret executive orders, circumventing Congress, the Constitution and International Law, re-writing the meaning of legal terms that restrict their agenda, obfuscating and propagandizing like hell to keep the public completely in the dark and punishing anyone who dares move them toward accountability - in general, behaving like any totalitarian, Machiavellian dictatorship.
Sans open repression. Sans martial law, at least for now - the latter having been opened as an Executive Privilege, hence possibility, by one of those fanfare-free "Presidential Directives" that zipped out past the celbrity-dazed public and their attendant media ... all looking at everything, anything, but this...
According to the latest New York Times expose, once Cheney/Bush got the itch to torture as a supposed weapon in the so-called "war on terror", they were unstoppable.
Not the legislative branch - who's gonna tell Congress? - not the judicial branch - thanks to Ashcroft, Gonzales & other cronies; not the Constitution, not democratic tradition, and not, certainly not, international law or those pesky Geneva Conventions - No, none of these could get in the way of the Cheney/Bush torture agenda.
And not being familiar with torture, the CIA went straight to the experts in Egypt & Saudi Arabia for advice & guidance. Totalitarianism is a learned skill, apparently.
The McCain anti-torture bill (McCain’s Detainee Treatment Act), after much blitz, was a wash after the bite-numbing afterthought at the end basically saying to the CIA, who were conducting the torture in the first place, "Guys, gee, we're not saying that what you did was against the law!" Thus, creating of an anti-torture bill another useless piece of paper, in the long series of useless congressionally-inspired pieces of paper.
Notice the trend: Congress' pieces of paper get shunted, vetoed or nullified in the form of lesser-known addendum; Bush/Cheney's pieces of paper become the Law of the Land. That's why We the People get this feeling of overwhelming powerlessness. It's called Fascist Creep or Totalitarian Cancer. It starts with a few signing statements and Presidential directives and, before you know it, maybe even before our much-anticipated general presidential elections (!), you've got martial law... and nuclear war! And... the United States run by a closet King, the invisible strongman Cheney and his sidekick signer, known affectionately as "W".
Are you afraid for democracy yet?
No, we should fear the terrorists...?,,, Don't we need torture to stop them from taking away our democracy and freedom? Aside from the well-proven fact that torture fails to effectively obtain good intelligence and only exacerbates the problems that led to terrorism in the first place - aside from this, torture also makes what we call "detainees", who have never been given due process, potentially INNOCENT VICTIMS. They were arrested in other countries, accused of crimes not clearly defined, and given no due process, here or in their home countries, and essentially stripped of their humanity based on suspicion or accusation only.
Presumably, this policy has been blessed with the Holy Advice of our ever-present backroom Advisor in All Things Foreign & Terror-related, namely Israel, in order to "win the war". Israel, sitting on a time-bomb for 60 years and all they've won is a lot of neighbors who are either totalitarian or hate Israel or both, is still considered the Grand Master in the field of anti-terrorism. So we can look forward to more wars and more total failure in the field of international relations. Thanks to their uncompromising Principles: both Bush/Cheney and Israel share a strong belief in Goliath's First Commandment: Thou Shalt Not Engage in Diplomacy.
Of course, when was the fear of oppressing innocent victims ever a major concern in international relations? If it was, would torture even be "on the table"? The only second thoughts anyone seems to be having is reflected in the final line of the NYT article: "what happens when one of our people is captured and they do it to him?"
But if we were really afraid of losing democracy, then we should pay more attention to how Bush/Cheney are gaining the power to break the law in spite of the will of the American people - or even the will of people of the world... or worse yet, lose the very freedom & democracy we're supposedly torturing potentially innocent people to gain.
Consider impeachment seriously. So we can have another election before Armageddon...