I will make things easy for Attorney General Alberto Gonzales and give a short definition of torture. In its purest form, torture is being subjected to a George Bush press conference where he smirks at the worst possible moments, goes into occasional bouts of inarticulateness (alternating with petulance), and continues to pronounce 'nuclear' as 'nucular.'
Thankfully, I don't have to watch the display again, as there's a transcript to refer to. So heres a look at some of the key points from today's event.
1) Over 3,500 Iraqis were killed last month, but it's still not a civil war. No, it's just the work of "extremists and terrorists."
It's a good thing the man gets daily briefings, because, he admits, "I hear a lot of talk about civil war. I'm concerned about that, of course."
To a degree, that is correct. Bush is merely concerned about people talking about civil war. As far as civil war itself, he could care less.
I am not sure how many Iraqis need to die in sectarian violence before the president would be able to acknowledge that a civil war is already in place, but I suspect he would sooner admit that maybe God needed an extra day to fashion the universe.
2) The occupation of Iraq will have no end under the policies of the Bush Administration.
Bush says "we are not leaving." Despite the fact that it is clear we are not wanted there...despite the fact that our presence was never about nation-building...we are to remain there indefinitely.
The implications, obviously, are enormous.
Our economy will get drained, our military will remain targets, and our ability to successfully fight Al Qaeda and terrorism will continue to be compromised, because of the enormous resources being used to prop up the Iraqi government.
3) Those who oppose the war are "good, decent people."
.....in case anybody thought that those opposed to the war were helping the terrorists.
I am glad he repeated it more than once. 3 times in fact.
He also made clear the disaster that would happen if we pulled out.
Interestingly, resultant instability did not enter the minds of the neo-cons before they stepped in.
If only George had listened to dad.
4) One very important reason we must remain in Iraq is that "it would give the terrorists and extremists an additional tool besides safe haven, and that is revenues from oil sales."
And we all know that the Iraqi oil is the reason we went in. After all, lots of nations have been ruled by tyrants, but invading them will not benefit the corporatists at ExxonMobil. If the Sudan's exports included petroleum, to go with their cotton and peanuts, we'd be there too.
5) Halliburton and friends need more revenue sources.
As Bush bluntly states, "I'm announcing that America will send more aid to support humanitarian and reconstruction work in Lebanon, for a total of more than $230 million. These funds will help the Lebanese people rebuild their homes and return to their towns and communities. The funds will help the Lebanese people restore key bridges and roads. The funds will help the Lebanese people rehabilitate schools so the children can start their school year on time this fall.
"I directed that an oil spill response team be sent to assist the Lebanese government in cleaning up an oil slick that is endangering coastal communities; proposing a $42 million package to help train and equip Lebanon's armed forces."
What is never said by Bush is how those millions will be spent...which companies will get the money and contracts. He knows that as long as there is total GOP control, nobody will even investigate this. Certainly, the news media won't.
After all, nobody was ever held accountable for the misuse of funds in Iraq, not to mention misuse of funds after hurricane Katrina.
So why start now?
I am so glad that there are transcripts to refer to. Wouldn't it be nice if news organizations examined prior transcripts and held this administration accountable for all of their prior deceits and failures?