Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Out, damn spot!

Torture. The Bush Administration's watchword. Oops--strike that. It's "aggressive interrogation," pardon me. An article revealing these people's twisted morality, from ABC news on April 11, is about meetings held between the CIA and Bush's top brass (chaired by none other than Condi Rice) on which specific torture methods in which combinations could be used. These statements make it clear:
[Colin] Powell said, "I'm not aware of anything that we discussed in any of those meetings that was not considered legal."
Yeah. By the likes of Ashcroft and Yoo and Gonzalez, sure.
Critics at home and abroad have harshly criticized the interrogation program, which pushed the limits of international law and, they say, condoned torture. Bush and his top aides have consistently defended the program. They say it is legal and did not constitute torture.

In interview with ABC's Charles Gibson last year, Tenet said: "It was authorized. It was legal, according to the Attorney General of the United States.
The justification rationalization? Bad guy Khalid Sheikh Mohammed.
"We had legal opinions that enabled us to do it," Bush said.
And the guy who determined that it was legal?
Ashcroft was troubled by the discussions. He agreed with the general policy decision to allow aggressive tactics and had repeatedly advised that they were legal. But he argued that senior White House advisers should not be involved in the grim details of interrogations, sources said.

According to a top official, Ashcroft asked aloud after one meeting: "Why are we talking about this in the White House? History will not judge this kindly."
In other words, they should determine it legal and then stay out of it. Harder to get those spots of blood off your hands when you keep on approving it, every time, in detail. Leave all those specifics about how many times you can slug somebody, or near-drown them, or keep them standing, or pull out their fingernails, or whatever, to the thugs who actually DO the messy work. Better for the heads of state to stand back. More plausible deniability that way, don't you know, just in case the word gets out or the legal finding turns out to be, well, not so sound.

Yep, it was "legal." Maybe. The same way it was "legal" for the Gestapo to break a suspect's fingers. But definitely NOT right.

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