As mentioned here last week, President Bush made an international speech in Panama City to profess that “We do not torture” while, at the same time, Dick Cheney was back home lobbying Congress to drop its anti-torture bill or to add an exception for the CIA. It’s clear to anyone paying attention that these two things are in direct opposition to one another.
This week we’ve got another situation of the administration getting caught with their hand in the cookie jar.
Italian television showed irrefutable video evidence of the use of white phosphorus shells being used as weapons in Fallujah last year. The Italian documentary also interviewed two ex-vets who were there and said they were used as chemical weapons against everyone there.
The effect of white phosphorus on the human body is unquestionably horrific. It literally melts your skin off. Initially the Defense Department responded to questions about this footage by stating that the shells were simply used for illumination. Tuesday they retracted this statement and claimed, “It was used as an incendiary weapon against enemy combatants though not against civilians.”
The problem with that statement is that the Italian footage clearly showed women and children burned and melted beyond recognition.
The Defense Department representative then claimed that the weapon wasn’t considered a chemical weapon and referred to it as a “conventional munition.” I suspect that any survivors of the attack wouldn’t agree with that assessment. In fact, the dictionary doesn’t agree with that explanation either:
n.(Symbol P) A highly reactive, poisonous, nonmetallic element occurring naturally in phosphates.
If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s a duck people.
The really telling part of the statement came when the representative noted that the U.S. was not a signatory to an international treaty barring its use against civilians.
Oh, so by not signing this treaty, white phosphorus mutates from a chemical weapon into a conventional munition. That’s quite a trick.
Once again this administration treats the public like we were all born yesterday. We have a President who can only speak in front of carefully selected audiences. We torture people, take pictures of it all and then deny we torture anyone. Then we use chemical weapons against anyone in the area of an attack in a city and call it “illumination” until it’s clear that story just won’t float.
At this point I’m waiting for some personal illumination in the area of the cerebral cortex of the remaining supporters of this administration. How many more examples of third-world tactics do we need to see before these supporters realize that we’ve become everything we despise in other countries?
Frankly if another country, say China, showed up and occupied us, what leg would we have to stand on now? They could use every argument we used to invade Iraq. Isn’t that a great thought?