This particular quote resonated with me:
"I know from the military that if you tell someone they can do a little of this for the country's good, some people will do a lot of it for the country’s better," said John D. Hutson, who served as the Navy's top lawyer from 1997 to 2000.
Back around Easter, I passed around a column I had read, to several friends about torture and how every assault on a prisoner is an assault on the person of Christ. I was horrified when one friend, whom I generally respect despite our differences of opinion, said that he disagreed, and felt that God has given governments the authority to torture prisoners for matters of security.
I have to admit, I lost some respect for him on that one.
One thing that I find striking about Bush right now is how much he has changed in the eight years he has been in office. When he first came on, I was willing to give him a chance, because he had some goals that were worth exploring, such as his faith-based initiatives to help the needy. He even met with liberal groups and activists like Jim Wallis of Sojourners to discuss where the need was greatest and what he as president could do.
And now ... well, now he's vetoed a bill to bring health care to the nation's neediest children (after all, they already have emergency rooms), his administration has justified the nation's first-ever domestic spying program, they've insisted on the right to torture prisoners and to deny them third-party oversight; it's issued more signing statements than the previous 42 administrations combined, and (let's not forget) it misled the country into war while refusing to provide safe harbor for the refugees that war has created.
The stresses of being president are going to be hard on any one -- especially one who is president at as nerve-wracking a time as 9/11 -- but I can't say he has help up well under the stress.