Friday, July 01, 2005

THE FIRST PRES. BUSH'S personal physician in the White House speaks out on WaPo's op-ed page about torture. This is a must-read:

Having served as a doctor in the Army Medical Corps early in my career and as presidential physician to George H.W. Bush for four years, I might be expected to bring a skeptical and partisan perspective to allegations of torture and abuse by U.S. forces. I might even be expected to join those who, on the one hand, deny that U.S. personnel have engaged in systematic use of torture while, on the other, claiming that such abuse is justified. But I cannot do so.

It's precisely because of my devotion to country, respect for our military and commitment to the ethics of the medical profession that I speak out against systematic, government-sanctioned torture and excessive abuse of prisoners during our war on terrorism. I am also deeply disturbed by the reported complicity in these abuses of military medical personnel. This extraordinary shift in policy and values is alien to my concept of modern-day America and of my government and profession.

I find it interesting that only liberal bloggers (and Andrew Sullivan, who has been excellent on this issue) have commented on this essay so far (at least as posted on Memeorandum). This is not a piece that can be easily attacked or refuted. Dr. Lee writes beautifully, eloquently, from a very pure place that lacks any trace of political posturing or hyperbole. But what he has to say about the horrors he has seen, and his profound dismay at finding that America is no longer a place where these things don't happen, is quite powerful.

Andrew Sullivan writes: "How inspiring to read such clarity. How horrifying that it has come to this."

Richard TPD at Peking Duck calls it "brave and beautifully written," and wonders "how long [it will be] before Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter accuse him of treason."

And TeacherKen at Daily Kos says:

It should be mandatory reading for every member of Congress, every member of an editorial board around the country, and should be as widely distributed to your email lists as possible. Superbly well written, it is absolutely on point, and from a man who cannot be dismissed as a Democratic or liberal critic of the current president.

Exactly. Which is why Malkin, Coulter, Reynolds, et al. have been uncharacteristically silent on this one.

As a final point of interest, a comment on Richard TPD's blog speculates that Bush junior's parents may be expressing their own disapproval through this op-ed:

My take on this - that this is as close as we'll see to disapproval from GW's parents. I'll bet you anything that GHW and Barbara are seriously critical of their son, but of course won't say anything. I think this is as close as we'll see - and I'd bet that the physician told GHW he was going to do it. Silent nods were had.

or maybe I'm guilty of fomenting a conspiracy theory. I can't believe GHW and Barb are great GW fans though.

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