With Washington politics, things are seldom what they appear to be -- especially when devious Machiavellians are running the White House. And we often end up getting a fairy tale version of reality because the USA's government-corporate-media complex prefers to ignore unpleasant-but-true stories while it promotes pleasant-but-false stories.
For instance, the mainstream media is burying a major Bushite deception right now, so as to leave the American people with the rosy-but-false impression that Mr. Bush has adopted a "new position" concerning torture. 
Last Wednesday, a non-binding House vote overwhelmingly favored the McCain Amendment, which would ban torture by the military, the CIA, and mercenaries under contract with the U.S. government.  Then on Thursday, Mr. Bush reportedly RESCINDED his opposition to the McCain Anti-Torture Amendment (which he had threatened to veto). 
BUSHITES MISLEADING THE PUBLIC TO A ROSY-BUT-FALSE CONCLUSION
Oh happy day! The U.S. government finally appears to have understood what civilized people everywhere already knew: torture isn't wrong merely because it's illegal (i.e., malum prohibitum, or “wrong because prohibited”); rather, torture is illegal because it's just plain wrong (i.e., malum in se, or "wrong in itself").
However, human-rights groups should not prematurely celebrate a “victory”. Mr. Bush has learned nothing, and he hasn't changed his position on torture. He misled us into war under false pretenses, and now he's trying to mislead Congress and the public into believing that his administration has forsworn its advocacy and use of torture.
Consider this: Bush ONLY rescinded his opposition to McCain's Anti-Torture Amendment because he'd already circumvented its most important provision! The key provision would have made the Army's formal interrogation standards -- which can be found in the Army Field Manual on Intelligence Interrogation -- the UNIFORM STANDARD for the entire government. And torture-survivor McCain chose the Army's long-standing interrogation standards because they were written to conform with international-law conventions that strictly prohibit belligerents from humiliating, abusing, or torturing prisoners and detainees.
So how did Mr. Bush fool everyone?  By getting his Pentagon minions to issue their first official change to the Army Field Manual in thirteen years. More importantly, the Pentagon radically altered the Army Field Manual by inserting a 10-page CLASSIFIED addendum that contains new, highly permissive interrogation standards. The DOD's new interrogation standards intentionally BLUR the Army's formerly clear-cut standards. Furthermore, these new standards not only permit, but also teach, abusive interrogation techniques that will violate international law because they are obviously tantamount to torture. 
WHAT CONCLUSIONS CAN WE DRAW FROM THIS STORY-WITHIN-THE-STORY?
DON'T BE FOOLED, folks! The McCain Anti-Torture Amendment WON'T ban torture, despite the fact that its operative provision would have made the Army Field Manual's clear-cut standards the uniform standard for the entire government. But now it won't because the Pentagon has revised those interrogation standards to not only permit, but also teach, techniques of humiliation and abuse that are tantamount to torture.
Here's the bottom-line conclusion: “The idea that we have a '’Vice President For Torture’ now appears quaint. What we really have is an entire administration [that is] openly and unapologetically for torture.”  Of course, the Pentagon's re-write of the Army Field Manual, the chief executive's approval thereof, and every human rights violation flowing there from, will be a prosecutable war crime.
WHAT'S THE MORAL OF THIS STORY-WITHIN-THE-STORY?
The ultra-militaristic Bushites and their Pentagon minions are arrogant, treacherous, “above-the-law” despots who will stop at nothing to have their way. Even if their way is clearly malum in se.  Even if their way destroys our nation's moral credibility.  Even if their way dooms democratic governance under the rule of law.  If there is any justice left inside the USA, “having their way” will lead directly to their impeachment and removal from office.
Evan Augustine Peterson III, J.D. is
the Executive Director of the American Center for International Law ("ACIL").
Please forward it to your e-network, friends, relatives and colleagues!
[A] Nico Pitney,
12-14-05 ThinkProgress.org article, "As
Torture Amendment Nears Passage, Pentagon Rewrites Army Detainee Standards"