In one of the most supreme acts of hypocrisy and duplicity in recent memory—and very apparent to all in Cuba and Latin America— the Bush administration, in effect, is vociferously arguing that the United Nations charter prohibiting torture and inhumane treatment of prisoners (CAT) may not apply to our CIA and its secret “detainees.” Mr. Cheney, with apparent support of Mr. Bush, is actively working to thwart efforts by the U.S. congress to specifically prohibit such torture by US government employees.
What sad and disgraceful irony.
For those of us who have followed the Luis Posada affair, the irony is even more apparent. We remember that it was this same administration that recently acquiesced to the unsubstantiated argument that Venezuela was likely to torture Luis Posada, thereby preventing his extradition and giving justification for his sanctuary in the United States. Sanctuary, to a man directly linked to the first ever act of air terrorism in the Western hemisphere: the in-flight bombing of Cubana flight 455 in 1976.
Such dishonest and “selective” indignation reveals the core hypocrisy of the Bush/Cheney White House in its war on terrorism.
Others see it clearly, especially those in Venezuela and Cuba, affected most by the Cubana bombing, even if many Americans have little interest, wrapped up in their somewhat insular world of thirty-second sound bites and many distractions.
Latinos in particular, have a strong sense of honor. Personal integrity and consistency in one’s values and the strength of one’s word are integral to their culture.
For United States leaders to now be arguing that prohibitions against torture must not apply in their “war” on terror—that any means justifies the end—is indicative of the morally misguided and inherently crooked thinking in this administration.
Perhaps worst of all, the Republicans would now try and slay the messenger of such duplicitous tidings.
If such policies persist and are expanded upon, history will record and long remember the enduring Bush/Cheney/Neocon legacy: one wrong X one wrong = one right.
John R. Bomar
Dr. John Bomar, a political Independent and centerist, has travelled throughout Latin America for the last thirty years and was six weeks in Cuba in 1996.