President Bush: Passionate About Torture
Paul Krugman asks a question in his column today that I've been wondering lately: Why is President Bush so enamored of the power to take detainees into a little room and torture them? What about this draws him on a psychological level? Most of us have a built-in revulsion to inflicting pain but there are those kids who show an early predilection to torturing animals. It has been reported that young George was one of them. So how does that translate into his actions as our Commander In Chief? I believe President Bush has waged a tireless struggle to attain limitless power for the executive branch, but not for some legalistic constitutional argument. Clearly that's not what's driving this. I believe he is one of those people who derives an extremely strong rush knowing that he has absolute power over other living creatures in a situation. This could be a little bird in his youth or one of the 14,000 detainees he has in a legal vacuum right now in secret prisons around the world. The thought that people he has ordered captured are now in little rooms somewhere screaming in intense panic as they believe they're being drowned, must be okay with President Bush. That power might even excite him. The whole argument about doing everything possible to make this country safe falls apart when you look at things he doesn't seem interested in: Secure borders and ports. He was presented with a number of areas and the one that really got him going was the subject of torture. He is passionate about it. He lies that the Geneva Convention and our laws need to be cleared up, but that is simply not true. They are extremely straightforward. America has outlawed torture.
Of course, you could argue that we're seeing an administration that is desperately trying to cover itself for crimes they've already committed. Maybe the point is to have these laws work retroactively and protect this administration from criminal prosecution. I suppose that's possible, but we have to rely on our sense of President Bush's psychological makeup - his inherent ability to do good or to inflict pain. I know if my actions had gotten tens of thousands of people killed and wounded I would show the weight of their suffering. You could argue that President Bush has held up so well physically because he honestly believes in what he's doing, but that doesn't explain it enough. Even if you also believed in what you were doing as much, it would affect most of us tremendously to know we had caused little children to burn to death in some horrible military attack. President Bush doesn't seem that weighted down by it. He seems downright effervescent as he rides his bicycle and stubbornly sticks to his agenda. He can get intense at times. In fact, I've rarely seem him get as worked up as he did Friday responding to questions about torture. He wants to continue torturing people very badly. This is one of his most prized powers - one he is fighting desperately to retain. The only conclusion I can reach is that among all the other negative traits such as his low intelligence, there is another problem that is really much worse: The President is a sicko.