This is not political . . .

Well, okay, it is inherently political, but my point here is really one of coherence and not politics. Yesterday I heard most of Bush's speech on his new torture policy. I was dumsbtruck when I heard the following sentences. I tried to ignore it, yet I heard this very text again on the radio a few minutes ago. No one has commented on what I see as a completely staggering illogic; does anyone else see the same problem?

Here's the text I'm referring to:

 

These men will be held in a high-security facility at Guantanamo. The International Committee of the Red Cross is being advised of their detention, and will have the opportunity to meet with them. Those charged with crimes will be given access to attorneys who will help them prepare their defense -- and they will be presumed innocent. While at Guantanamo, they will have access to the same food, clothing, medical care, and opportunities for worship as other detainees. They will be questioned subject to the new U.S. Army Field Manual, which the Department of Defense is issuing today. And they will continue to be treated with the humanity that they denied others.

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Comments

Hm. I see what you mean. For one thing, I'd expect something like this to be written in German...Or at least Russian. At any rate, he plagiarized this from Stalin, I'm sure. Boy, would Stalin be pissed.

Check out Barton's gaming blog at Armchair Arcade.

The contradiction occurs for me when the president says these men are presumed innocent but "they will continue to be treated with the humanity that they denied others," language that clearly indicates the speaker sees the accused as being guilty. It seems it has to have been intentional, that speechwriters wouldn't screw up this sort of thing. A more neutral sentence would have been "And they will continue to be treated with the humanity that was denied to others." The passive would remove the agent/actor from the sentence. At least then there would be no direct implication, but that's probably not good politics in middle America, not the sort of thing to garner votes.

Still, the president may have played this one a bit early as there's still time to parse the speech and see what follows (hopefully not the immediate action on his legislation Newt Gingrich called for in a Wall St. Journal editoral today--yes, I read it, a gift subscription) before the elections. Any bump in his ratings are likely to fall off by early November.

bradley || bleckblog.org

You got it bradley -- that's the inconsistency that struck me. I haven't heard anyone comment on it within the news media. I think you're correct: it most likely is not a mistake if it came through a prepared script.

I really hope this ends up on The Daily Show or The Colbert Report.

CultureCat