Let's go torture now, everybody's learnin' how, come on a safari with me!
How did George W. Bush keep a straight face when he said over and over again that the U.S. does not torture? Maybe, as illustrated in today's cartoon above (click image to enlarge), he thought waterboarding was some sort of fun water sport. Actually, he never kept a straight face. He was always smirking like he just got away with something. As it turns out, the administration got away with waterboarding Khalid Sheikh Mohammed 183 times (apparently 182 times wasn't enough.) Look, I have absolutely no sympathy for the so-called mastermind of 9-11. He deserves to be punished to the full extent of the law. But I also don't want to live in a country that tortures prisoners and ignores human rights and the Geneva Conventions. If these detainees are denied their rights, what's to stop the government from denying the rights of citizens who don't happen to agree with their policies.
As if that wasn't bad enough, it is now coming to light that these harsh interrogation methods were secretly approved without consulting the State or Defense departments. Cheney and Bush used 9-11 as an excuse to endorse torture. They didn't care what anyone else thought. That kind of blind ego led to the abuses in Abu Ghraib and the creation of secret CIA prisons. This seems like a fitting time to revisit some of my other torture cartoons. Here are a few cartoons I have done on this topic. The Abu Ghraib cartoon above is from 2004. The Vanity Fair cartoon came out at the same time that Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes released pictures of their baby in 2006. The Holiday Torture Songs cartoon was drawn right before Christmas in 2005.