Thursday, December 15, 2005

ANOTHER STEP BACK First the administration decided to charge Jose Padilla with a crime, abandoning its illiberal, unconstitutional effort to sequester a U.S. citizen--a citizen grabbed up inside the U.S.--from the American legal process.

Now, in the face of veto-proof majorities in both houses, the Bushies seem ready to retire inhumane, degrading prisoner interrogation techniques from the U.S. arsenal. That includes techniques like water-boarding and the use of cold cells--techniques that count as torture under any reasonable standard, but that the Bushies had previously refused to condemn.

We still haven't heard a forthright discussion of the practice of rendition, of course. And we're still waiting for an end to the use of secret prisons overseas.

But certainly, this is another step away from the morally corrosive posture of the last few years.

CONTRAPOSITIVE is edited by Dan Aibel. Dan's a playwright. He lives in New York City.