It is past time for gentle rebukes. Righteous anger should flow now like a flood. The Bush administration has once again blackened this nation, this time with the connivance of three men who looked, for one brief moment, as if they were finally going to discover the courage of their convictions.

There is no end to this administration's arrogance. There is apparently no end to people's willingness to kowtow and bootlick and allow themselves to be brainwashed. It is time someone stood up and spoke the truth: This administration is not simply misguided, it is out of control, and it must be stopped. Ignoring the pleas of its own military and the nearly unanimous advice of experts in the field, the administration has cast aside all humanitarianism and rational logic and chosen the role of terrorist. Torturing prisoners is not only universally condemned and contrary to everything America represents, but it is useless as well. The intelligence gained generally proves to be false, as the administration has discovered to its vast embarrassment. Just ask Colin Powell.

But beyond that, the repercussions for our own men captured in foreign lands are disastrous. If the U.S. feels free to torture prisoners, how do we object when other nations do the same? This point is apparently too subtle for Bush. He lectures the UN about the 1949 Declaration of Human Rights, simultaneously demanding the right to contravene that very Declaration. And Sens. McCain, Warner and Graham, who looked as if they might finally stand up to this self-deluded White House, caved like a bunch of yes-men, and after a token show of moral resistance, gave this insane administration everything it asked for.

Sen. McCain, you of all people should be thoroughly ashamed of yourself. Your self-proclaimed image as a moderate is hogwash. You have the second-most conservative voting record in the Senate, and your claims to independence, integrity and moral will are a sham.

The U.S. is no longer a moral beacon in this benighted world. We are no better than those we claim to oppose. We, who have stood for justice, equality and fair treatment for 230 years, have handed this power-mad administration nearly unlimited control. But like Bush, we refuse to acknowledge our own failures because America is the "good guy" and what we do must be necessary and right. We harangue the Taliban and the Islamic extremists, and then we stoop to using their methods. We torture, we kill, we convict and sentence without allowing the accused to see the evidence which convicts him.

This is madness! What happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" Where is our humanity? Where is the one statesman who will stand up and say "I don't care about being re-elected; I don't care about being labeled unpatriotic. This administration has gone too far, and it must be stopped." Where is that one human being of integrity and influence who will champion what is right? How long will we allow Bush and his cronies to run this country like their private dictatorship?

This president has openly said, "I may have to sign a bill into law, but I don't have to obey it." And he is allowed to get away with it! Is he God? Under the cover-all of Bush's self-invented "War on Terror" the administration does whatever it pleases, trampling the Constitution, common sense and this nation's future under its arrogant boots. This administration believes there should be no checks on presidential power. Are we reading the same Constitution?

And America allows this brainwashing, this through-the-looking-glass view of the world that the administration rams down our throats. What is the matter with this nation? We look the other way while Bush and Co. lead us to moral and ethical disgrace. We are not fit to call ourselves Americans if we allow Bush to bulldoze on, untrammeled. Our Founding Fathers must be sick at heart. All Americans who love what this country is supposed to represent should rise up and impeach this administration and make this nation once more what it has tried to be - righteous, just and humane. If we give up that moral high ground, then the Terrorists truly have won.

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