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There is more proof that the torture at Abu Ghraib was not the work of just a few "bad apples," and the evidence clearly implicates the top military officer in Iraq.  According to a British newspaper, additional information coming out this week will go further up the chain of command and implicate officials "at the top of the Bush administration."

Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez, the senior U.S. military officer in Iraq, borrowed heavily from a list of high-pressure interrogation tactics used at the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and approved letting senior officials at a Baghdad jail use military dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns, sensory deprivation, and diets of bread and water on detainees whenever they wished, according to newly obtained documents.

The U.S. policy, details of which have not been previously disclosed, was approved in early September, shortly after an Army general sent from Washington completed his inspection of the Abu Ghraib jail and then returned to brief Pentagon officials on his ideas for using military police there to help implement the new high-pressure methods.

The documents obtained by The Washington Post spell out in greater detail than previously known the interrogation tactics Sanchez authorized, and make clear for the first time that, before last October, they could be imposed without first seeking the approval of anyone outside the prison. That gave officers at Abu Ghraib wide latitude in handling detainees...

The list of interrogation options in the document closely matches a menu of options developed for use on detainees held by the U.S. military at Guantanamo Bay and approved in a series of memos signed by top Pentagon officials, including Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld. In January 2002, for example, Rumsfeld approved the use of dogs to intimidate prisoners there; although officials have said dogs were never used at Guantanamo, they were used at Abu Ghraib.

Then, in April 2003, Rumsfeld approved the use in Guantanamo of at least five other high-pressure techniques also listed on the Oct. 9 Abu Ghraib memo, none of which was among the Army's standard interrogation methods. This overlap existed even though detainees in Iraq were covered, according to the administration's policy, by Geneva Convention protections that did not apply to the detainees in Cuba.

The documents obtained by The Post, which include memos from Abu Ghraib and statements made by prison officials for the Army's investigation, make clear that this overlap was no accident. No formalized rules for interrogation existed in Iraq before the policy imposed on Sept. 10, one day after Maj. Gen. Geoffrey D. Miller -- who was then in charge of the Guantanamo site -- departed from Iraq. He was accompanied on the Iraq visit by at least 11 senior aides from Guantanamo, including officials from the CIA and Defense Intelligence Agency.

The circumstantial evidence against the administration's claim that the Abu Ghraib incidents were the work of just a few "bad apples" has always been strong.  Sure, some of the problems at Abu Ghraib might be attributable to lax discipline; apparently alcohol use was common at Abu Ghraib, and there may even have been a vigorous sex trade between U.S. soldiers and Iraqi prostitutes.  Incompetence surely played a part as well; due to technical errors and lack of information systems for processing missing persons' claims, U.S. forces have lost track of dozens of detainees at Abu Ghraib and others are detained with their whereabouts unknown to their families.  But there is plenty of evidence that what happened at Abu Ghraib was a deliberate policy that's been spreading throughout military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo.  

For instance, not all the "lost" detainees are lost.  In at least one case, according to documents obtained by U.S. News, Sanchez ordered a prisoner be hid from Red Cross inspectors and his name kept off official rosters of detainees.  And last month Editor and Publisher printed excerpts from a report by Reuters' Baghdad bureau chief describing what happened to three of his Iraqi employees when they were arrested near Fallujah:

Bags were alternately placed on their heads and taken off again. Deafening music was played on loudspeakers directly into their ears and they were told to dance around the room. Sometimes when they were doing this, soldiers would shine very bright [flashlights] directly into their eyes and hit them with the [flashlights]. They were told to lie on the floor and wiggle their backsides in the air to the music. They were told to do repeated press ups and to repeatedly stand up from a crouching position and then return to the crouching position...

When they were taken individually for interrogation, they were interrogated by two American soldiers and an Arab interpreter. All three shouted abuse at them. They were accused of shooting down the helicopter. Salem, Ahmad, and Sattar all reported that for their first interrogation they were told to kneel on the floor with their feet raised off the floor and with their hands raised in the air.

If they let their feet or hands drop they were slapped and shouted at. Ahmad said he was forced to insert a finger into his anus and lick it. He was also forced to lick and chew a shoe. For some of the interrogation tissue paper was placed in his mouth and he had difficulty breathing and speaking. Sattar too said he was forced to insert a finger into his anus and lick it. He was then told to insert this finger in his nose during questioning, still kneeling with his feet off the ground and his other arm in the air. The Arab interpreter told him he looked like an elephant. . . .

Ahmad and Sattar both said that they were given badges with the letter "C" on it. They did not know what the badges meant but whenever they were being taken from one place to another in the base, if any soldier saw their badge they would stop to slap them or hurl abuse.

"Different soldiers, different unit, different base; and yet," according to journalist Mark Danner who cited this account in his important article "The Logic of Torture" in the current edition of the New York Review of Books,

it is obvious that much of what might be called the "thematic content" of the abuse is very similar: the hooding, the loud noises, the "stress positions," the sexual humiliations, the threatened assaults, and the forced violations--all seem to emerge from the same script, a script so widely known that apparently even random soldiers the Reuters staffers encountered in moving about the Volturno base knew their parts and were able to play them. All of this, including the commonly recognized "badge," suggests a clear program that had been purposely devised and methodically distributed with the intention, in the words of General Sanchez's October 12 memorandum, of helping American troops "manipulate an internee's emotions and weaknesses."

These policies aren't the improvised creations of low-level soldiers on the ground in Iraq and Afghanistan.  They are the directives of high-ranking officials, and according to the Telegraph, this week we may know who in the Bush administration approved the policy:

New evidence that the physical abuse of detainees in Iraq and at Guantanamo Bay was authorised at the top of the Bush administration will emerge in Washington this week, adding further to pressure on the White House.

The Telegraph understands that four confidential Red Cross documents implicating senior Pentagon civilians in the Abu Ghraib scandal have been passed to an American television network, which is preparing to make them public shortly.
According to lawyers familiar with the Red Cross reports, they will contradict previous testimony by senior Pentagon officials who have claimed that the abuse in the Abu Ghraib prison was an isolated incident.

"There are some extremely damaging documents around, which link senior figures to the abuses," said Scott Horton, the former chairman of the New York Bar Association, who has been advising Pentagon lawyers unhappy at the administration's approach. "The biggest bombs in this case have yet to be dropped."

The torture at Abu Ghraib isn't simply the fault of a few bad apples; it's the fault of the people at the Pentagon and the White House who put those apples in a rotten barrel.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 03:52 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  next two questions... (none)
    (1) Does Rumsfeld go? If so, when? (2) How much of this gets to American TV (as opposed to the BBC, the British broadsheets, WaPo and NYT)?
    •  The Telegraphe article (4.00)
      says "passed to American TV".  I owuld guess CBS, but we will know soon enough.

      I remember Rum and the others taking the oath.  I also remember Rum being specifically asked if he knew of this sort of abuse taking place prior to receiving the photos (but not looking at them right away, oh no) and the mid Jan so called "press release" from CPA (ass cover they all spoke of), he had to turn to Cambone seated behind him, who gave him the "legal response".  I prayed right then that they overstep.  The response was:
      we had heard of some problems, but nothing like this
      Immediately, a good moment and a signal to wait if impatiently.  Here was a terrible gift that would keep giving.
      O Gotcha.

      I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

      by Marisacat on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:05:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  CBS would be my bet too (none)
        another bet is that they'd not sit on it like they did with the prison pictures. There's hardly a way to sit on it now that knowledge of it is out in an "allied" newspaper.

        With the SEC investigating Halliburton in Nigeria, Fastow having pled guilty and supposedly singing for the Justice Department, with the Plame Investigation grand jury doing its business, and...

        this could be a very interesting summer.

      •  Marisa, remember when... (4.00)
        ....sanchez and Abazid were in DC together, a few weeks back, and you saw them standing behind some civilian at a house press gallery, and you notice how Abazid was incensed over something, not related to the press gaggle, and how sanchez was just trying to keep his distance and not look at Abazid.

        Think this was it?

        And don't you love it, when they relieved him of command - "oh, it has nothing to do with the torture allegations"

        •  Trying to hang it all on Sanchez (none)
          ain't gonna work.

          Abizaid has gotta watch his ass because he's between Sanchez and Rumsfeld/Bushit.

          A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

          by jnagarya on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:34:01 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  I agree with Al (4.00)
        Marisacat, Hi, been away from the computer on a sort of imposed vacation. Now on to real comment.

        In the military and out, good eople are hard to find. You 'know' them almost instinctively. Kindness, goodness of heart and intention, postive actions, forgiveness. In the military, a good enlisted man, NCO or Officer is a treasured resource. Reason being, that the type of power structure in the service is strictly hierarchical.

        We all know that power corrupts...blah blah blah. This is especially true in combat zones where power is life or death personified.

        What I am getting at here is that it is clear to me that there is a deeper streak of sadism extant in the military than I, as an experienced NCO had known about. Don't get me wrong, I have seen it. I have seen power used for petty and vindictive reasons. I have also seen power do remarkable and and truly heroic good. But it is this systemic sadism that has me reeling. It is sort of like saying,"this isn't MY military."

        But of course it IS 'MY military."

        A good question for psychological types to ask is.....Why now and how now?

        I believe the inexperienced and deluded Neocons have no real moral core. They are not well meaning. They do not have real interest in discourse or debate. They are Darwinist Machiavellis, disconnected from consequence or responsibility.

        I believe they attracted the power hungry and the morally weak (Gen. Boykin is an excellent example). And this influence cascades down the chain of command....Shit running down hill and all. Powerful, moral men like Gen.Eric Shinseki are used as whipping boys to make example. Dos anyone see parallels to Germany in the Thirties? I sure do.

        Sanchez is guilty as hell, but he is not alone. His ambition got ahead of his sense of right and wrong. I know Abizaid to be a strong and fine commander. I have served with him. But I ust don't know anymore. Things have gotten really FUBAR.

        Regime Change Begins at Home. Prune the Shrub and Cut the Dick.

        by oofer on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:36:46 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  oofor -- (4.00)
          What happened is that they are "led" by a petty, vindictive little prick named George W. Bush.  He set the standard and the tone.  You can be certain that all the memoes rationalizing torture weren't offered up voluntarily; they were requested.

          And they were requested by Bush.  Bush will do anything he pleases -- being certain first, of course, to get lawyers to cover his ass.

          If Clarke description is accurate about Bush trying to intimidate him into "finding" non-existence "intelligence" by which to justify Bush's intent, then the torture memoes arose out of like situation: he insisted on using torture, and demanded the excuses be produced.

          When Bush doesn't get his way, he's nasty.  And when he does, he's nasty.  And in both situations is a bully.

          And others in the chain ok command -- including especially Feith and Cambone and Boykin -- are also the nastiest sort of MO'fos.

          These are all people who put party before country, and personal and group ambitions before the rule of law.

          They are a criminal enterprise -- none of which is new of them or surprising.  They only difference is that we now have it in writing signed off on by them.

          A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

          by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:11:15 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  1939 parallels... (none)
            Not everyone, but certainly there are more people capable of great evil in the right set of, especially, historical and social circumstances. whom otherwise are good husbands/wives and parents etc, than it is comfortable to think about sometimes. And that is not unique to U.S. society. I was in military cadets, reserves and active service from the time I was thirteen to about twenty-one in Canada. That "streak" of cruelty running through military culture of which you speak, I saw as well, in this country.

            It was there when they were preparing us for what they though was going to be an intervention on the side of the British and French, in their 1956(?) attack on the Suez Canal, I remember distinctly-, and on other occassions as well I recall. It's always there just beneath the surface of military life, in fact. That is fundamentally one of the carefully crafted "source pools" for psychological tools the military doesn't like to display publicly, but it is always carefully cultivating, in my experience. Militaries are about the "controlled" use of cruelty, pretty much.

            As a long time observer of the U.S. military around the world, including early in Vietnam, your military, along with the larger U.S. society, including an "expansionist" economic system, has been in that "special" social and historical place for a very long time, in fact. From about the end of WW2 onward. You just got caught in Abu Ghraib.

            That is why, for much of the world, and those of us who have been closely observing your society from critical positions for a very long time, while your military doesn't wear swastika armbands or goosestep on parade-, we nonetheless pretty much have come to see that stars and stripes patch, and the U.S. military's own particular kind of "World Conqueror" swagger, in pretty much like terms, to that of Nazi paraphernalia.

            You folks are caught in a particular historical moment, at a very particular stage in the development of a very aqgressive form of your own kind of capitalist economic system. This latter especially, the driving engine of it all, is in an expansionist/imperialist phase of its development-, having outgrown the simple opportunities of your own home territory. In 1939, the German's called it, the need for Lebensraum.

            Much of the rest of us "outsiders', including here in Canada, the North American continent's Poland, is watching the rise of events to our south, with a growing sense of alarm. How your people handle what is occurring there, and in the Middle East, is likely to determine our own necessary attitudes and behaviour towards your country, for the historical period taking shape.

            And it doesn't look good, at least to me.  

            •  Many if us in the US (none)
              are as alarmed (if not more so) as you.  

              I, for one, have seen the very thing you describe in the US -- and not confined to military, or school playground.  

              And, as you describe the form of capitalism as an "engine" reminds me that the very same attitude -- as a sort of theocratic-based "God"-ordained militaristic sadism -- in the Massachusetts-Bay Colony from its beginnings.

              So it is not only ancient, but also has origin in (such as) Britain.  That's not an effort to avoid responsibility but rather to note how broadly inclusive it is.

              The British Emprie was probably the "kindest" of all the empires.  However, it was also built on blood.

              A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

              by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 05:13:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

  •  BushCo Guilty of War Crimes (4.00)
    Bush, Rumsfeld, Myers, Miller, Sanchez all the way down to the sadists who conducted the interrogations---all have violated both the Geneva Conventions and  American law (Title 18, Part I, Chapter 113C of the U.S. Code) against torture.

    They are war criminals and have dragged America's name through a septic field.  We're long past due for a frogmarch.

    •  I agree... (none)
      ...and so does the Center for Economic and Social Rights [blogwhore].

      And while we might not ever have direct evidence that Bush gave an explicit order to use torture, as I'm sure they're clever enough to ensure plausible deniability, it's damn clear that these thugs created a fertile environment for Abu Ghraib et al.  PINR hit the nail on the head a couple weeks ago [blogwhore again]:

      In order to have such scenarios be acted out with impunity on unwilling subjects, there must be a climate of permissiveness created by authority figures. Such permission can be granted through direct orders, condoning the behavior, or an attitude of dismissive negligence.

      Whether or not the abasement rituals were a matter of explicit or suggestive policy, they occurred within an environment of dismissive negligence. Treatment of prisoners according to international standards was not a top priority of military leaders and bureaucratic defense intellectuals who conceived and have managed the occupation of Iraq. Regarding the consequences of their neglect of their own power and interests, the leaders were short-sighted.

      Yup, that about sums it up.

      The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

      by NTodd on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 05:05:10 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush deniable? Why the press conference evasions? (4.00)
        while we might not ever have direct evidence that Bush gave an explicit order to use torture, as I'm sure they're clever enough to ensure plausible deniability

        I would have thought so too, but Bush was so cagey under direct questioning at his last press conference, it makes me think that some trail really may lead to him.  Are there people he no longer trusts who can put him in a meeting where all this crap was approved?

        He repeatedly fell back on the 'my orders were legal' defense, refusing to respond in any meaningful way to questions about the Justice Dept memo, which redefines 'legal' into meaninglessness.

        But hey, we're not talking about anything serious here like lying about a blowjob, so it can't rise to the level of high crimes, right?

        The supports are being kicked away one by one... timbers creaking... I just wish they didn't have all those nukes up on the top floor.

        •  He signed an "authorization" (4.00)
          As Bush kept saying at the G8 presser, he signed an authorization and gave instructions that his people were expected to follow.

          There's an executive order or a secret finding with Bush's signature on it that authorizes this behavior - otherwise, it wouldn't have happened. Because, according to their legal briefs, the behavior would not have been legal if the President hadn't signed the authorization.

          And as Bush kept telling us, everything they did was legal, right?

          I am waiting to see the Fox News/Limbaugh/right-wing spin that, yes, it was torture, and yes, it was more than a "few bad apples", and yes, the President authorized it, and yes, the President then lied about it, but it's all good because ...
          they were all bad.

          •  "they were all bad" (none)
            I don't think we'll hear that one until Ahnold is in the WH...

            The fool wonders, the wise man asks.

            by NTodd on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 06:11:13 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  This whole thing makes me sick (4.00)
            and you are right, the far right will justify this for whatever reason they can think up.  It is WRONG, plain and simple.  Remember Bush when the war started? How he told Saddam to treat OUR soldiers humanly?  

            Clinton had his definition of "is," Bush is going to have his definition of "torture."  It just is beyond any any person of reason that our nation, the nation that fought against Hitler, has committed these acts, and done so seeking justification of such acts.

            I am a liberal, I am PROUD to shout this fact, to stand tall and know that I nor any who have been against this war from the start would have EVER had anything to do with this torture. Who are the "REAL" Americans now? Rush? Hannity? those who seek to find ways to convince the lemmings that the war on terrorism means our loss of morality? our loss of humanity? our loss of ANY respect in the world?  Real Americans stood up against this war, real Americans knew that this administration would take us down a road that was dark and full of dangers.  REAL AMERICANS are those who did not blindly wave the flag.  Real Americans questioned the statements made by this administration, and REAL Americans can stand tall and NOT have to find justification for any of their actions.

            I am a Liberal, I am a REAL American, an AMERICAN who has never wavered in the knowledge that going into this war was done so based on lies.  The lies continue, with the most recent being the report on terrorism.  Rather than a 40 year low in terrorism the report has to be redone to reflect the REAL numbers, which will show that terrorism is at a 20 year high.

            Sorry all.....I just am sick and tired of my patriotism being questioned by those who justify this ANTI AMERICAN behavior.

            •  SanJoseLady, don't apologize (4.00)
              It makes us all sick. And perhaps it will make even more Americans sick, until they realize that what they are suffering from is the illness caused by a philosophy that treats other humans as objects and things.

              Say it loud - I'm liberal and proud!

          •  That's correct -- (none)
            there's a paper trail.  Compliance with required procedures, however minimal, was done because everyone of those individuals is a cut-throat backstabber -- and knows that everyone else in that gang is the same.  So for ass-protection alone, you can be sure Rumsfeld got Bushit's signature on an authorization.

            Bushit avoided the question because he didn't want to lie against proof which exists and would prove him a liar.

            A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

            by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:18:44 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  On p. 24 of Richard Clarke's book (4.00)
          On the evening of 9/11 in the White House:

          When, later in the discussion, Secretary Rumsfeld noted that international law allowed the use of force only to prevent future attacks and not for retribution, Bush nearly bit his head off.  "I don't care what the international lawyers say, we are going to kick some ass."

      •  No direct evidence that Bush gave an order (4.00)
        After WW II we hung several Japanese Generals for war crimes committed by their troops, even though the Generals were unaware of the crimes and could not likely have known of them.

        The precedent is there.

        One of the jobs performed by commanders in war is the job of designated scapegoat. It is supposed to keep them on their toes and prevent "Plausible Deniability" issues. Anyone who has ever served on active duty as a commissioned officer is aware of that. That is a big difference between military officers and civilian managers. The rules are different. Bush spent nearly two years on active duty getting trained as an interceptor pilot. He knows the rules, or should know them.

        That job description, scapegoat, includes the Commander in Chief. It is part of command.

        •  It is unlikely (none)
          Hitler personally murdered by his own hand Jews in Warsaw, or in any of the myriad concentration camps, etc.

          Nonetheless, he would have been found guilty for those war crimes.

          And how many would insist that, if he didn't know, then ignorance is excuse?

          The law doesn't say that.  The person who gives the unlawful order, even if through surrogates, is as responsible for the consequences of the order as for the order.

          A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

          by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 05:21:14 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Don't forget Powell! (none)
      He occupies the special seat reserved for "Officials intellectually and emotionally capable of recognizing the inherent evil in their leader's actions and decisions, who are in a unique position to thwart or at least publicize their leader's diabolical plans, yet choose instead to faithfully serve their evil master with all their might."

      "And Orwell's hell, a terror era coming through. But this little brother's watching you too" -Zack de la Rocha, Voice Of The Voiceless

      by Subterranean on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:26:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Did Sanchez commit perjury? (4.00)
    I watched the senate hearing where miller, abizaid and Sanchez appeared. I recall Sanchez distinctly saying (and they were put under oath) that he did not authorize any of these punishments. I recall at the time feeling quite confident that Miller was lying, and thought Sanchez and Abizaid must be, but perhaps they were careful to just be highly misleading and not technically false. Anyone have any thoughts?
    •  Everything that has happened (none)
      for a couple weeks (or more, losing track) indicates to me that Sanchez ws too compromised, they had decided to sacrifice him.  I thought he lied that day too.  Abizaid, I don't know, this is the end to his career I would think tho, he is a 4* already so ....
      The whole shuffle over the SOCOM asignment for Sanchez and now bringing in a 4* to investigate and replace the 2* (which I htink is also reported soemwhere in the links above) means they knew they could not save Sanchez.  Hopefully none can be saved.

      I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

      by Marisacat on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:21:08 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  From the Daily Telegraph (none)
        A new investigator has also been appointed to lead the inquiry into abuse at Abu Ghraib. Gen George Fay, a two-star general, will be replaced by a more senior officer. Gen Fay, according to US military convention, did not have the authority to question his superiors. His replacement indicates that the Abu Ghraib inquiry will now go far beyond the activities of the seven military police personnel accused of mistreating Iraqi detainees.
    •  Did Ashcroft? (none)
      Of course, all they ever did was tell people to "follow the law".  And since they had their Federalist-Society whackjob attorneys tell them the President had unlimited power to ignore the Geneva Conventions, "following the law" was whatever Bush told them to do.

      But wait!  Look over there!  Bush senior is skydiving!

      Visit the Diary of the Lying Socialist Weasels, for commentary from the Original Progressive Web Warriors!

      by Jonathan on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:22:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  FBI was cut out of this (4.00)
        There is an article in Newsweek that says that there were long discussions on this and that the CIA took interrogations from the FBI but they didn't know what they were doing.  Then they started using tactics that Special Forces werre trained to resist.  Meanwhile, there was a furious debate in the WH with Condi and the NSC arguing against the DOD lawyers and the VP's lawyers.  There is a loing paper train and the memos are being leaked by insiders who didn't like the torture.  Nowhere does it say that all this torture has gotten us any good intel.

        it seems that the poster who theorized that Bush did sign something is on to something here.

        If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

        by Mimikatz on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:01:34 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Of course there's a paper trail -- (none)
          look at the contents of the memoes we've so far seen.  If they wrote that stuff down, you can be certain there's more.

          And that everyone "followed orders" -- but also "got it in writing," signed by their superiors.

          One does wonder what, push come to shove, the point at which Bushit has run out of lies, will he/they do.

          Will they "go quietly"?  Or will they go even further than they already have?

          A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

          by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:29:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

      •  "following the law" was whatever Bush (none)
         told them to do.

        "Der Fuhrer" Principle? Sure sounds like it to me.

    •  I don't have all the testimony in transcript (none)
      So we can't be sure w/o that and a timeline.

      But I do remember Cambone's little weasel-words when he stood there having gone along to keep a tight hold on Taguba's leash, saying in essence "if it turns out that anything I said turns out not to have been true, I hope you'll let us go back and fix it" - which leapt out to me and others as screaming "I'm lying, I'm lying and I hope I don't get caught!"

      "The Truth Shall Make Ye Fret" - T. Pratchett (change @ for AT to email)

      by bellatrys on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:23:20 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Sanchez perjured himself. (none)
      Why not?  He was either get caught or the stonewall and cover-up would work.  If caught, perjury is inconsequential to the charges for violating Conventions, treaties, and Federal law.

      I knew they were all lying.  Just look at the setup: they all three went there as a wall with the same story between Congress and Bushit.

      Same with Taguba.  he told the truth, but he was bookended by two individuals whose job was to dilute his testimony, and if possible intimidate him.

      A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

      by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:24:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  This will come out (none)
    but one question.  The pictures differ in content (putting naked men in sexual positions etc.) vs. loud noises, kneeling, etc.  I doubt the memos specifically mentioned piled up naked men or dog collars.  Would this be their out from perjury? i.e., they authorized loud noises, but not sexual perversion?

    I don't want any of them to have any way out of their mess they made.

    •  No muzzles (none)
      The muzzles are one of the key evidentiary points. The GC approves the use of dogs with muzzles. I believe there is evidence that Rummy approved of dogs without muzzles--with the dangerous outcomes we've seen pictures of.
  •  the few bad apples: (4.00)
    Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld, Wolfowitz, Perle, Kenny Boy Lay...
  •  Rumsfeld's Trip to Iraq (4.00)
    Now we know why Rumsfeld was in such a hurry to get to Iraq, after the Taguba report was released. He went to have meetings with Sanchez and others, in order to try and contain this...

    The man is a walking and talking disaster - and the fall out from what he has managed to do, in just a few years, will plague the US for decades.

    "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

    by SteinL on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:24:10 PM PDT

    •  Rumsfeld's Earlier Trip to Iraq (none)
      Rumsfeld was also in Iraq in September, 2003, just as Gen. Miller's visit was about to end.  The famous picture of Rumsfeld visiting Abu Ghraib is dated Sept. 6 (Gen. Miller's mission ended Sept. 9).
      •  And when can we assume a WMD (4.00)
        connection in all of this?

        With the non-stop BushCo/Tinkerbell belief that WMD's would eventually be found, there's got to be some link between Rumsfeld's and Wolfowitz's Iraq trips. They surely didn't appear worried enough about the "dead-enders" to travel all the way to Bagdad to get into micromanaging the response to the uprisings, no?

        Since we're collectively screwed for a generation now anyway, if somebody can connect the torture-memo dots with the search-for-WMD dots, we might at least have a chance to push these neocon f**ktwits so far underground that their vortex drags 90% of the war-mongering media cheerleaders with 'em.

        •  WMD link (none)
          If you step back, and consider who they were torturing and to what extent: children, women, elderly people and "military age males"; and combine that with the cast-a-wide-net tactics as to who was rounded up for interrogations, then you are left with a conclusion:

          This wasn't to stop the insurrection. It was a desperation move, in the hope that someone, somewhere would provide them with the WMD evidence they had to find, if Bush and Blair aren't to be remembered as the two biggest idiots ever.

          The WMD link will turn up. Just observe - Washington and the military are realizing that these incompetents are not going to stay around for long - which means it's expedient to spill the beans.

          "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

          by SteinL on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:13:10 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  Bingo! (4.00)
            This was torture as political, not military, strategy. Look at the timeline - when was the pressure really ratcheted up? Late last summer and fall - when the press kept saying, "Where are the WMDs?" The Bushies were desperate to find something, because Bush got a message from God that the WMDs were there, and was putting tremendous pressure on everyone to find them.

            But the WMDs weren't there. They aren't there. So our forces began to torture people - anyone, the families of Iraqi scientists and bureaucrats - thinking someone might talk. But there was nothing to talk about, and so they got even more rabid.

            The Bushies didn't just spit on the Constitution, our national reputation, and our international relations - they tortured and killed people purely to look good in the '04 elections.

          •  don't forget (none)
            this was also during the time when they were "searching" for Saddam: October-November.

            They were under A LOT of pressure to "produce" something because of the domestic heat re no WMD, so the interrogations intensified during this period.  Go back and look at the newsreports out of and about Iraq from the time when the torture took place.

            That's been obvious from the beginning, it seems to me.  This was all before Kay came out and said, "the jig is up".  Tony B. was under a lot of pressure, too, what with David Kelly and the report coming out.

            "By focusing fear and hatred on the Tutsi, the organizers hoped to forge solidarity among Hutu." -- Human Rights Watch

            by a gilas girl on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 06:27:30 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  agreed (none)
          Since we're collectively screwed for a generation now anyway, if somebody can connect the torture-memo dots with the search-for-WMD dots, we might at least have a chance to push these neocon f**ktwits so far underground that their vortex drags 90% of the war-mongering media cheerleaders with 'em.

          Thus far the only mention of what information these men and women and children (children!) were tortured to produce is some sort of weak justification for finding who is responsible for roadside bombs killing our soldiers but I would be willing to bet all the money I will make for the remainder of my lifetime that the most frequently asked question was some variation on 'where are the weapons of mass destruction?"

          "...the definition of a gaffe in Washington is somebody who tells the truth but shouldn't have." Howard Dean

          by colleen on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:34:08 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  Oh I think it was clear then (none)
      It also allowed him to avoid Senate testimony again; Wolfie had to go, which was when he admitted that it sounded like we had violated the GC.

      Rummy hasn't made many friends in the professional ranks, so this should continue to drip out.

  •  MSNBC - Newsweek... (none)
    has some things (sorry - no link) up on the MSNBC site regarding torture. Two reports. In one, there is an account of why the August 2002 memo was written. It was done at CIA request. Apparently, the FBI was originally in charge of questioning al-Qaida prisoners, but the CIA (and associates in the Army) wanted the task. The FBI and military CID had experience in interrogation. The CIA and military intelligence didn't. When the suspects began to resist, the CIA asked for the authority to torture them, essentially. When the authority was extended by the White House, the CIA was then faced with the difficulty of exactly how one does that sort of thing. One model tossed up was that used to "torture" members of our own Special Forces in prisoner-of-war training sessions. These methods were widely known within the US Army, and could therefore be applied by intelligence officers. Once used against al-Qaida members in Afghanistan and Guantanamo, when the door to torture was opened in Iraq, it spread like a Sasser worm.
  •  Hope Wolfowitz is implicated too (none)
    Did you see him with the Marine in the rotunda viewing Reagan's casket?  

  •  This is all very simple... (4.00)
    1. Bush has his memo saying that he has the legal power to order torture.
    2. Bush himself told "his people" to "follow the law."
    Therefore, he asserted his "legal authority" to order torture.

    Everyone in his administration is covered by this authority, and can use this as their ultimate defense. The memo, which Ascroft won't release, is the key, because it is the Executive Branch asserting the legal authority to use torture. This is something that must be decided by the Supreme Court. Does the Bush Administration have the authority to use torture? If yes, everyone is scott free, but we have an international crisis, since we have thereby abdicated the Geneva Conventions. If no, then we have a constitutional crisis, because the Executive Branch has assumed illegal authority in violation of the Constitution. My guess is the latter since Ashcroft, in contempt of Congress, is refusing to hand over the memo.

    •  I want to stay on this memo thing... (none)
      ...for one more post.

      Let's say hypothetically, that Bush has other memo's written by administration lawyers. Maybe, he has one that says that during wartime for the country's interest he does need to inform Congress about anything that he does. Or, maybe he has one that says it would be in the countries interest to rig the vote using bogus voting machines. Maybe he has a memo saying that he can imprison and torture his political opposition. Maybe he has a memo saying that since he talks to God, he can round up and execute all non-fundamentalists. He might even have a memo giving him full authority to use nuclear weapons to save the world provided that God talks to him and says that it is time for the apocolypse. I bet he's got a whole file cabinet full of memos.

    •  Isn't the Ashcroft memo out already (none)
      through the WSJ? If so, why is he risking contempt? If not, what do you suppose could be in the memo that isn't known already?
    •  Not as Simple as That (none)
      Even if U.S. courts were eventually to hold that the U.S. president has the authority to authorize torture against unlawful combatants, the people who were tortured in Iraq do not seem to have been unlawful combatants by any stretch of the imagination.
    •  It isn't for the SC -- (none)
      it's for Congress to investigate and impeach and remove.

      Rhenquist will, of course, be allowed/required to preside.

      Unless he recuses himself for being for torture.

      A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

      by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:35:53 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  A Test of Our Nation (none)
    These reports are devastating, or should be.  The reaction to them will be the ultimate test of how "moral" a nation we are.  The skeptic in me suspects there will not be much public outrage, and the Repugs in Congress will ensure that no punishments or other consequences result.  If I am wrong, I'll stop making plans to move to Toronto.
    •  As devastating as Iran/Contra? (none)
      I think when Ashcroft told congress that they couldn't have the memos, and the Republicans said 'okay', that should clue you in. And the press will drop this. It will be yesterday's news just as soon as they can find something far more serious like Kerry has a link to a site that has a link to a site that has a link to a site that once had a link to a site that supports Arab causes. And we all know what THEY are like....
      •  This isn't going away. (none)
        Too many Senate Republicans served in the military, recognize the consequences for the military and troops of Bushit's loony policy, and also have an interest in doing what is necessary to preserve their party.

        And Democrats aren't going to let it drop.

        And most of the media won't drop it.

        And you can be certain that Kerry will begin bringing up these issues -- especially in response to their attacks on him.  Which may have the effect of neutering them, as they don't want it brought up.

        A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

        by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:45:33 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  They're trying to change the CW on it (none)
      They're trying to start a "well, torture was justified, we saved lives with it" meme, gambling, I think, that the pictures have faded from the minds of all the soccer mom-swing voters. But I think that's a dangerous assumption because 1) photos are retained more than words, and 2) there are more photos ready at hand, if the soccer moms begin to get forgetful.
  •  Is this new? (none)
    approved letting senior officials at a Baghdad jail use military dogs, temperature extremes, reversed sleep patterns, sensory deprivation, and diets of bread and water on detainees whenever they wished

    The items listed were common knowledge, were they not?  Apart from the use of dogs, open discussion on network television discussed the use of tactics such as these to deal with detainees and "terrorists".  I have heard the sensory and sleep deprivation cited in calm tones by military officials since Guantanamo opened.  If I was privy to this information, is that really the scandal?
    The real horror, apart from these other known horrors, is the pictures which show techniques that were previously secret.  The smoking gun is to link these methods to the upper brass, in my view that is where heads will roll.  The good news is the utter shame and disgust may cloud the whole issue and any form of "torture", whether previously known or not, may be enough to bring key people down.  Im just not shocked that Sanchez okayed these quoted methods, it was all open fodder for the talk shows since before the war.  Having said that, shocked or not, I am not speaking to the ethics of these methods.  These tactics were viewed with acceptance by the media, maybe the story is why the issue wasn't pressed prior to the release of the photos, the slippery slope might have had a more humble gradient.

    Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail- Emerson

    by Stevo on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 04:40:10 PM PDT

    •  The Issue is the Difference Between Gitmo... (4.00)
      ...and prisions holding supposed enemy combatants in Iraq and Afghanistan.  The Mark Danner article I linked is very good on the implications of using the Gitmo methods on run-of-the-mill enemy combatants in a war zone.  (BTW, Danner is a hell of a journalist; he did to the El Mozote massacre in Guatamala what Hersh did with My Lai.)  In short, military and Pentagon officials have been justifying the extreme measures used at Gitmo by the supposedly extraordinary circumstances that pertain to the captives housed there.  The problem is that by transfering to Abu Ghraib and Baghram methods they the administration argued were extraordinary because of what they asserted were extraodinary circumstances became ordinary.  While there's plenty of doubt that these methods are beyond the pale when used on "terrorists," there is no doubt among any but the most Federalist Society-addled ideologues that these methods are beyond the scope and authorization of any international standards for prisoners of war or civillian detainees.  
      •  Sure (none)
        The administration has constantly cited the Iraq war as part of the war on terror, it has also called the combatants "terrorists" since the outset.  Why then would we expect Gitmo to have different rules, as compared to Afghanistan and Iraq.  The war was always fought under the "terrorism" banner, I am just expressing my lack of surprise that the above mentioned tactics were used.  Who defines a terrorist or combatant, the administration apparently.  Once again, not arguing the horror, just the outcry and surprise.  The pictures go beyond any known "torture" methods, we need to link the brass to these undisclosed tactics to break this issue wide open.

        Do not go where the path may lead, instead go where there is no path and leave a trail- Emerson

        by Stevo on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 05:00:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Your Point is Logically Sound (4.00)
          I think, though, that it was the administration that essentially argued that Gitmo was the exception, and the brass has been arguing all along that what happened at Abu Ghraib could not be construed as an extension of policy directives from any higher up than the handful of non-coms and maybe an officer or two at Abu Ghraib.  The Sanchez memos show that to be complete rubish.  

          Also, while the outrage is understandably more focused on the sexual humiliation, the tactics initially approved by Sanchez, immediately after Miller's visit in September, include plenty of other offenses not as easily captured in a snapshot but nonetheless completely beyond the bounds of acceptable methods of interrogation or conditions for incarceration, such as withholding prisoners' religious paraphenalia, exposing them to extreme heat, and denying them a diet that wouldn't prevent weight loss and nutritional deficiencies.  Again, these methods are dubious at best when used on the population housed at Gitmo, but they are beyond any standard measures used in "normal" military prisons.  The military knows that, which is why these memos showing that Sanchez approved measures he later denyed condolning could very well, in regards to not just the brass but also the civillian leadership, "break this issue wide open."

          •  Not only did the "administration" (none)
            insist that Gitmo (and Afghanistan?) was the exception.  Or, rather, that Iraq was the exception: there the GCs applied.  Of course, they applied there, because it was only a "few bad apples" who did the torture, and (politically) we are for the rule of law, so we're gonna try their asses off and give 'em a year in jail.

            They also crossed themselves in another way: they asserted to the world and the SC that Gitmo is outside US jurisdiction, therefore outside US obligations under GC, treaties, and Federal War Crimes Act.  

            But in the memo/es they asserted that those who did torture in Gitmo were also exempt from the rule of law because Gitmo is under American jurisdiction and rule of law.

            "Oh what a tangled web" they've woven.  Parts of it look like hangman's nooses.

            A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

            by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:52:49 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  Funny thing about Gitmo. (none)
              But isn't Gitmo and american military base, and therefore entirely within the wider american jurisdiction. Cuban law does not operate within its walls and wire fences. If fact, the American military state that they were given an "indefinite" lease by the legal goverment of the Cuba (which was a protectorate of the U.S. at the time and like Iraq today, had no real soveriengty!) and since U.S. does not reconize the Castro's goverment authority over Gitmo, then whose laws/jurisdiction applies there?

              "It is not for honour nor riches, nor glory that we fight but for liberty alone, which no true man lays down except with his life." Declaration of Arbroath, 13

              by Ralfast on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:46:39 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

              •  It's under US jurisdiction, (none)
                therefore it's under US law -- exactly as admitted in the memo/es as means to protect torturers in Gitmo who are operating under US law.

                The claim to the SC is the opposite -- and part of the more extreme position: the a president is beyond the constraints of the Constitution.

                Even though, of course <wink, wink, nudge, nudge> the administration doesn't use torture.

                Which we learned several hours later was a lie.

                A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

                by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 05:41:25 PM PDT

                [ Parent ]

  •  BUT! (none)
    but, but, but... george bush sr. did a parachute jump today for his birthday, and he was 80 years old!!  don't any of you guys care about that?!  the president's father!  all this stuff about things happening in other countries, people maybe being a little too adament in protecting us from evil-doers and crossing a few lines.  we're dealing with evil, you have to fight fire with fire!!!  80 YEARS OLD!!!!
    •  That was cool (none)
      No really.   I'm impressed that Pappa Bush goes skydiving, it shows a side of him that's capable of simple, human pleasure, and it also shows that he has a set.  

      I could never see Dubya skydiving on his own, as a political stunt yes, but never as an ex-president.

      I will add however that Pappy Bush sounded like an asshole on the news after he had made the jump, telling other seniors to "get out and do something, doesn't have to be skydiving, just turn off the TV and do something, your life isn't over!"

      Maybe it's just me but that seemed a bit condescending.  Many seniors don't sit in front of the TV all day by choice, they do it because they cant do anything else!  It's awful to be confined to a sedentary lifestyle by faltering health, and yet Bush just doesn't seem to get it--he's healthy so everyone else must be, too!  And then there's seniors like my grandma who quit going out because all her friends were DEAD, and needless to say, she was terribly depressed.  

      "And Orwell's hell, a terror era coming through. But this little brother's watching you too" -Zack de la Rocha, Voice Of The Voiceless

      by Subterranean on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:02:48 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Who Would Jesus Torture? (3.90)
    It says something about the state of Christianity in this country when the man who receives his strongest support from regular churchgoers does so despite presiding over an administration that authorizes this sort of evil.  I can understand how they would delude themselves with regard to abortion, stem cell research, contraception, gays, etc., but when they say they'd rather cast their vote for a man who ordered this humiliation and violence against helpless prisoners than a Democrat . . . I have to wonder whether to them, their Christianity is any more meaningful than a logo on a shirt.

    I wish none of this had happened.  It would be a lot easier to go through this election if the only issues were who should and shouldn't pay taxes, how and whether to cover the uninsured, etc., instead of whether or not the president authorized torture, and whether that was an acceptable decision.

    •  No comparison (none)
      Abortion and homosexuality are Sins. Torture? Well, after a long, hot day at the war, boys (and girls) will be boys.
    •  Right, Not Christians (none)
      There's plenty of torture in Mel Gibson's movie, and it isn't the Christians who are guilty of it.
      •  oh no, Christians would never torture anybody (none)
        Get a grip

        ever heard of Torqumada

        The inquisition still exists as a department of the roman cathloic church

        They changed the name, but I could find it for you

        •  It's only torture (none)
          if the victims are white anglo-saxon Christians.

          Everyone else deserves it for having chosen the wrong "God".

          A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

          by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 05:43:44 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  On the topic of religion (4.00)
      At mass today our GREAT WONDERFUL Father Jon gave a sermon, and I was applauding!  My son was telling me to stop, but I couldn't help myself.

      Father Jon said that the Bishops who have been out there stating they would keep communion from elected officials (and others) who go against the teachings of the church, mainly the pro-choice NOT pro-war Catholics, are backing off on their stance.  Why? Well it seems that the church teaches that only the PERSON taking communion can make the determination whether or not they are ok to take communion.  The person and GOD are the only two who can decide this.  Father Jon stated that he would NEVER turn ANYONE away who came up to get communion and that ALL are welcome.  

      Further, it was stated that the Bishops job was to welcome people to the table (communion) not to EXCLUDE people.  Father Jon was VERY clear that only GOD can judge.  

      I was glad that today I went to mass (I go with my son who just recently decided to be baptised at 13).  Father Jon is really the only reason I am back at church.  Without him I doubt I would be there as I am SICK to death of all the talk of religion and NONE of the TRUE teachings of Jesus which were LOVE, CARING, COMPASION and NO JUDGEMENT. a ranting mood tonight...better get out of here and go to an AOL crazy chat room : )

      •  Oregon (4.00)
        I was up in Oregon recently for a graduation and it seems that a great many people in a parish in Medford(!) were willing to sign a petition condemning the withholding of sacraments from people who vote and think the wrong way.

        And I wonder if, when Bush asked the Pope to help him get the US clergy to oppose gay marriage more strongly, as the paper reperted today, he also asked the Pope to condone the US's use of torture.  That must have been a fun conversation.

        BTW, I do not think this will all blow away.  I think many people are concerned about this, particularly in the mid-west.  I think there are a lot of decent people in this country who know this is wrong and that it is costing us in the world.  It is important to remind people that rules on treatment of prisoners are there to protect our guys when they are taken.  That is why the US use of tactics that the Special Forces are trained to resist was so sick.  There are some seriously ill folks involved here, beginning with the VP.

        If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

        by Mimikatz on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:16:54 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Mimikatz--You rock! (none)
          You are EXACTLY correct that the reasons for the Geneva Conventions on the treatment of prisoners is self-interest.

          It is the golden rule in action. That's the good news. Bad news is that now we are going to done unto.

          How is it that supposedly "Christian" people like Bush, Reagan, Cheney, etc., the icons of power, do not understand Christ's teachings. Worse, do not PRACTICE Christ's teachings.

          How can church-goers stomach this. How can Clergy be so blind?

          Okay, I'll answer that. They don't really believe what they say. Actions speak louder than words. Action is truth. Mass-delusion on the other hand has no problem with black is white and up is down.

          Regime Change Begins at Home. Prune the Shrub and Cut the Dick.

          by oofer on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:58:15 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  I've been saying it this way -- (none)
            Bushit comtempt for the Geneva Conventions is equalled by his contempt for the US troops from whom he removed the Conventions' protections.

            That means one can support Bushit.  Or one can support the troops.  But one cannot support both.

            I suggest circulating that split.

            A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

            by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:00:55 AM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  Christian do-ings & don't-ings (none)

            Politics is like driving a car: Put it in "D" if you want to go forward, put it in "R"...

            by Snixiby on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 04:18:47 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

      •  only GOD can judge (none)
        I thought that was how it worked

        Thank God, someone beside myself thought of it

  •  Arguably (4.00)
    Bill Clinton's biggest political mistake was lying about having oral sex with Monica Lewinsky rather than the sex itself.  But in this case the lies are far more deadly (I'm still confused how lying about sex endangered the nation but that's a whole other issue) and seem to be going all the way up right to W and his "the bucks tops here but the buck goes elsewhere" attitude.  

    But instead of all the "righteous" indignation from certain republicans that led to the overtly partisan impeachment trial of the former president, the same voices (DeLay, Hastert, Lott, Frist, etc) are cooperating by repeating the "few bad apples" schtick that must be on their secret intra-party memos.

    Irony isn't always lost on the American electorate, even with widespread capitulation and ineptitude from the SCLM.  Let's do our part in helping them see just how ugly this current irony is.

    The ...Bushies... don't make policies to deal with problems. ...It's all about how can we spin what's happening out there to do what we want to do. Krugman

    by mikepridmore on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 05:14:02 PM PDT

  •  Will a Republican Congress Act? (none)
    With all of the scrutiny the past week on Reagan and his policies, good and bad, it becomes clear that Reagan and Nixon before him were constrained by a Congress that wanted to limit executive power and who carried out oversight.

    It seems to me that all of the evidence is there pointing to very serious violations of a range of international and domestic laws.  And as indicated by the Nuremberg trials, the doctrine of command responsibility does not exonerate a commander because they cannot find written documentation of his orders.  Seems to me the ball is in Congress' court.  

    •  Will They Be Republicans... (4.00)
      ...or will they be Americans?

      That should be the question, and I think some of our more aggressive rhetoricians--Kennedy, Biden, Rangel, Pelosi, etc--should push that question.  Also, put the veterans out there.  Since it endangers American troops to allow enemy combatants (and more than a few Iraqis who got picked up when they went next door to borrow a cup of sugar) to be tortured like this, the veterans in Congress should be on TV and radio and the floor of Congress talking about how these policies  needlessly endanger American lives.  Reed, Inouye, Lautenberg, Nelson and the rest should be out there shaming the chickenhawks on this.

      Will DeLay and Hastert and Hunter and Frist and Roberts and Warner and Graham be Republicans, or will they be Americans.  

    •  Actually, I think that the Supreme's are... (4.00)
      ...going to decide this one. Right now the Supreme Court is expected to soon rule on the Jose Padilla case. This will establish a precedent for some of the administration's most eggregious assaults on the Constitution. In reality these are assaults on the power of the Supreme Court. If they rubber stamp this adminstration's Executive power grab then we are really on the highway to hell. I guess it serves them right since they started the throw out the Constitution thing when they appointed him President.

      Boys and girls, we are in the middle of a full fledged Constitutional Crisis.

      •  Re Padilla Case (3.66)
        As far as the fate of human liberty is concerned, the Padilla case could very well be our era's Dred Scott.  It's that important.  I very much hope that as each Supreme Court justice weighs his or her decision that he or she will consider what it would be like to be designated an "enemy combatant".  Sound crazy?  Well, if you were to accept the administration's arguments in this case, then a policy of arbitrary detention would simply obliterate the protections of the 5th Amendment, which prohibits any "person" (not just American citizens) from being "deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law".  This tradition of due process goes back to the guarantee of liberty enshrined in the Magna Carta as a check on King John's abusive ways.  More recently, our revolutionary fathers stood up to the tyrant King George III.  Is too much to ask the Supreme Court to stand up to George Bush Jr.?    
        •  Enemy Combatant (none)

          Hell, most of the Supremes should weight their decision exactly as if they can be declared an enemy combatant and disappeared at any time. Because you can bet that's exactly what would happen to the non-wingnuts (everyone but Scalia, pretty much) on the court. They'd vanish into Guantanimo and be replaced by more Repugnican toadies.

          •  That's my feeling (none)
            We're supposed to have a system of checks and balances with Congressional oversight and a Supreme Court.  In reality Congress has rubber stamped almost everything, including not pressing Ashcroft to release the memos that are now leaking out.  Meanwhile if a Supreme Court justice needs to be replaced, the President, who has declared everything he does as lawful because he makes the laws, nominates a replacement.  

            I just read the NYT magazine piece on Commander Swift defending the detainees at Guantanamo.  When will these people understand it's men and women of integrity and a commitment to the rule of law like Swift who keep this place from coming apart at the seems.  Unfortunately, even he seems doubtful things will resolve well.

            •  THE SC was lied to (none)
              about the torture.

              They aren't going to tkae kindly to that.

              They were also lied to about Gitmo being outside US jurisdiction -- when the memo/es assert the exact opposite.

              No, the SC is not going to rule in Bushit's favor on the claim that "the president is beyond the constraints of the Constitution" as passing Constitutional muster.

              And, of course, they will doubtless recognize that Georgie believes he can even jail SC justices in such as Gitmo.

              A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

              by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:09:59 AM PDT

              [ Parent ]

      •  We've been in the middle (3.50)
        of a Constitutional crisis since the election was stolen.

        It has only been escalatingly compounded since then.

        A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

        by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:05:32 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  where are the memos coming from... (none)
    does anyone else suspect that there is someone (JAG Corps, most likely) who has a complete set of all of the relevant memos, etc., and is leaking them in an "orderly" fashion?
    •  New York City Bar (none)
      I would imagine that the JAG lawyers who complained to the New York City Bar shared paperwork with them
    •  Rummy's poor people skills (none)
      Rummy hasn't made many friends in the officer corps this time around as Sec Def. There are a good number of professional soldiers who are only too willing to keep their paperwork to CYA and save some soldiers' lives down the road.
    •  the company (none)
      some of it may be from the JAGs, but i'll wager a good portion is coming from the CIA.  remember there's still strife between them and wolfo-rummy's pentagon, and  people are still pissed about the valerie plame affair.  plus, they're involved in the torture thing, so you better believe anything that was signed by rummy or the white house got stashed in a CIA CYA file at langley...

      so now the facts are partisan?

      by zeke L on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 09:08:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  "Torture" aids in curbing terrorists (1.00)
    People--women and children--are being blown up left and right by terrorists. Better intelligence from detainees aids in heading off terrorism.

    It aids in the capture of thugs like Saddam and his sons.

    It also helps protect American lives in Iraq.

    It makes would-be terrorists and other criminals think twice before they commit these heinous acts--who wants to wind up in a detention facility run by Private England?

    What is so difficult to understand?

    •  man (none)
      are you an asshole!
    •  You're joking, right? (none)
    •  I understand (4.00)
      that approximately 70-90% of the people imprisoned at Abu Ghraib were completely innocent.

      I understand that when we use the "interrogation techniques" used at Abu Ghraib, we are no longer justified in being outraged if they are used by someone else against our own soldiers.

      I understand that there is (or should be) a basic minimum in how one civilized human being treats another.

      I understand that the soldiers in Abu Ghraib would not have repeatedly performed these horrific actions if they had not been condoned by some members of the Bush administration.

      And I am sickened by this.

      What don't you understand?

    •  Leaving the debatable nature of your assertions . (3.66)
      aside, and saying, for the moment, that we hold your assertions as accurate, we are still left with a question.

      If these "truths" about the usefulness of torture are so obvious, why then didn't the Administration argue such to the American people? Why not state it boldly that they hold torture is necessary? Why hide it? Why lie about it? Why say it was just a "few bad apples"?

      Why, indeed, did Bush say that torture is not the way America does things?

      Don't tell me Bush was scared of the ACLU and the liberal reaction! He doesn't give a dried turd about that.

      If Bush hides and dissembles, it's because he's feeling guilty about something he knows is wrong.

    •  Evil perpetrated against terrorism is evil (none)
      adamkhan, living up to the standards of his Uncle Genghis, says "what they are calling 'torture' is a nasty interrogation technique that should be reserved for nasty individuals."

      Most emphatically, no. It is barbarism, plain and simple. It is quite literally inhumane--treating people as if they weren't human and, as such, a blasphemy against the most basic American values.

      •  I think adamkhan (none)
        is a nasty individual for expressing the view he does.

        I nominate him for undergoing the tortures he foinds acceptable.

        Then, after an arbitrary amount of time (that's part of the torture), we can interview him about whether he still holds the same view.

        A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

        by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:15:20 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  what is so difficult to understand... (4.00) that wrong-wing blowhards and warbloggers are so colossally stupid about basic strategy and tactics. the whole strategic basis of terrorism is to get the enemy/government/occupier to massively overreact to their provocations, angering the people to the point that they rise up against the occupiers.  in other words, having the US indulge in torture of EPWs is exactly what al qaeda wants to prosecute its campaign against us. torturing taxi drivers and other randoms is even better.  invading a secular arab country that posed no threat to us and had nothing to do with al qaeda is great too - it shows the whole islamic world that bin laden was right about us and how degenerate we are.  

      well i for one don't want bin laden to be right about us. i don't want to play right into their hands.  and that's exactly what this administration is doing - giving aid and comfort to the enemy.  appeasing terrorists, giving them everything they could possibly want.  it's time it stopped.

      this is leaving aside the basic fact that torture is evil.  we're supposed to be the good guys, adamchingizkhan.  we're the ones who don't do such things because we reject the age-old excuses for committing evil given throughout history that the end justifies the means, because evil means result in evil ends. that's what the greatest generation did back in WW2, and earned the respect and amazement of the world for it - goodwill that has now been squandered.  but maybe you don't care about us being the good guys? maybe you want america to be the new evil empire because you hate america.  why do you hate america, adamkhan???

      so now the facts are partisan?

      by zeke L on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 06:23:52 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  are you adamkhan? (none)
        no? then why do you insist in butting in again, completely missing the point of my post, again.

        we're on the same side here, david. at least i think we are - you're not some pinkerton agent provocateur are you?

        did my post really go over your head that badly? or do you just not understand the concept of a rhetorical position?

        so now the facts are partisan?

        by zeke L on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:41:22 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  On your pathetic little blog ... (4.00)
      ...Adamkhan, you argue that what you label "torture" is only used against nasty individuals who do nasty things.

      Prove it.

      Prove that torture had anything to do with the discovery of Uday, Usay and Saddam.

      Prove that "torture" protects American lives.

      Prove that terrorists, particularly those who willingly blow themselves up in the act of attacking their enemies, are made to think twice before they commit these "heinous acts."

      Prove that you have a single thought on this subject that doesn't come directly from Rush Limbaugh or the RNC talking points and that hasn't been deconstructed over the past six weeks.

      On May 6, you wrote:

      Yes, the Pentagon must move quickly and decisively to ensure that the rule of law--particularly the Geneva Convention--is respected by every American soldier.

      Now that we know U.S. officials quite high up the chain of command intentionally violated the Geneva Conventions, are you still arguing in favor of that stance ... or does it come too uncomfortably close to nailing that wretched creature who's been occupying the White House for 42 months?

      "Grab whom you must. Do what you want."

      by Meteor Blades on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 06:51:22 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Fake poster (none)
        we know that there are people here with multiple accounts.  you can tell from the writing.

        This poster, 32 comments, no diaries, in 6 months, all aimed at provoking.  It looks familiar.

      •  I think that's a great idea! (none)
        We should torture suicide bombers so they "think twice" about blowing themselves up because it will cause them pain to do so.

        In fact, I think it's such a great idea, that they should be tortured even if it's after they blow themselves up.

        That'll teach 'em!

        'Way to go, adamkahn!

        A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

        by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:23:03 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Help Americans (none)
      Tell that to the Americans who have been captured. know how this Geneva Convention works right?

      Response: 'Does your government'

      American GI sputtering....shortly thereafter screaming

      Don't blame me....I voted for Kodos! Neo-Cons don't die....they just go to the private sector to regroup

      by coheninjapan on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:07:29 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  For 30 years... (4.00)
      Israeli torture has curtailed Arab 'terrorism.'
      It has worked wonders. It has stopped the terrorism and prompted a deep and meaningful relationship between the Arabs and the Israelis.
      I'm sure that's why the U.S went to Israel for training.
    •  No evidence that torture works (none)
      Ther eis no evidence that the torture has actually led to any good intelligence.  This is the problem with torture.  It doesn't produce reliable intel.  People just start saying what they think the interrogator wants.  Obviously we AREN't getting the info that would prevent some of the violence in Iraq.  Instead, we have antagonized 80% of the population.  Don't you think that if we had learned something valuable we would have heard about it?  Al Qaeda has obviously become very sophisticated while we have been sidetracked in Iraq, and they have learned how to disrupt us with "increased chatter" and have begun killing and kidnapping foreign workers in Saudi Arabia.  Real progress.  Plus we had such bad intel before the war that we tried 50 strikes to kill Saddam and all failed and instead killed lots of civilians.  

      If you're going in the wrong direction and you stay the course, where, exactly, do you wind up?

      by Mimikatz on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:25:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  that our President ... (none)
      announced that our enemies must obey the Geneva Conventions while he tried to circumvent the Geneva Convention

      And why assholes like you tolerate this userpation of our liberty

      that is "What is so difficult to understand"

      the war is over, you can get new parts for your head

    •  Uprated to 4 (none)
      Because I think it doesn't deserve supertroll, not because I agree with the comment (which I do not).  The poster's sentiment should be exposed and the faults with his argument should also be out there.
    •  The unexamined assumption being (none)
      that torture yields truth.  Experts on interrogation say, to the contrary, it is ineffective.  Doesn't work.

      70-90 per cent of detainees in Abu Ghraib were there by "mistake".  They know nothing.  You torture one, and to stop the pain he gives "information".  You check out the information and discover the detainee lied.  You go back and beat up the detainee again, hoping this time he'll tell truth he doesn't know!?

      The Adam Khan's of the world are sadistic assholes.  They aren't concerned with truth -- that's just a cover.  What they are about is power, and the opportunity to abuse that power.

      A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

      by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 06:02:03 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  There are so many pieces to this awful (none)
    tapestry, and it seems that many are now a matter of public record. It seems almost time for the whole picture to be assembled in the form of a book, or documentary, or something. If Bob Woodward wants to come down fully off his high horse of whoredom (Plan of Attack brings him only half the way down), he'll take this story up, then retire.

    "Hell is other people." Jean Paul Sartre

    by spot on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 05:49:40 PM PDT

    •  It gets worse (4.00)
      I've been reading, blog by Laura Rozen, good enterprise reporting, (including some very informative stuff on Chalabi's pal Francis Brooke). She posted this the other day, the 10th I think:

      - - -
      Seymour Hersh has seen all the Abu Ghraib torture photos, Brad DeLong reports, and he looks frightened. DeLong was conveying an email he received from Rick Pearlstein. Pearlstein had gone to see Hersh speak at the University of Chicago. "[Hersh] said he had seen all the Abu Ghraib pictures. He said, 'You haven't begun to see evil...' then trailed off. He said, 'horrible things done to children of women prisoners, as the cameras run.' He looked frightened." Worth reading observations of Hersh's other remarks.

      Also worth noting: "And this was one of the most stunning parts. He had just returned from Europe, and he said high officials, even foreign ministers, who used to only talk to him off the record or give him backchannel messages, were speaking on the record that the next time the U.S. comes to them with intelligence, they'll simply have no reason to believe it...."

      - - -

      Children. If this is accurate, they have been torturing children.

      And do we know whether these practices have ceased? Are they still going on, even as the information leaks out to Congress and the public?

      Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. - Hunter S. Thompson

      by Mnemosyne on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 06:50:27 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Plus, from everything I have read (none)
        for weeks now, the children and most cases the women were taken virtually as hostages, dueing night raids or if a raid did not find a target! hostages are against the GC.

        Right before the month long siege of Fallujah and the loss of control of the roads, so around April 1, I heard Jon Lee Anderson of the NYer say that we "had regularly been taking hostages in the area of Tikrit and north".
        The hostage taking had also leaked out last summer.

        I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

        by Marisacat on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:48:48 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I think this explains in part the April explosion (none)
          I recall reading a piece in Salon by a journalist who had been working in Baghdad for five or six months and who writes that she felt a change in the atmosphere coming out of February and into March, which is when the Abu Ghraib prison was shelled.  The torture stories must have been circulating widely (though quietly) by then.  There were also reports of American soldiers kicking down doors and robbing residents.  I'm sure that the torture was common knowledge in Iraq long before the photos, and that it explains the disastrous drop in support for the Occupation between October and March.
      •  If you listen to Bushit (none)
        speak in the present tense about conforming to law, just as he did when "we" were violating the law, then you'll know the torture continues.

        A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

        by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:26:56 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  Hersh Book (none)
      I think I've read Sy Hersh is doing a book on the subject.
  •  Strange Fruit (3.50)
    Today we are all apples...
  •  Spin phase two begins (none)
    First it was the actions of a "few bad apples."
    I imagine the "alcohol is a factor" is a proac ourewqtive leak to mitigate the release of the report which shows wider abuse than originally thought.

    However, they were a little late this time, with all the leaks implicating Rummy and the rest.

    Alcohol is a factor and has always been a factor. Any 2nd Lt. worth his/her butter bars would have put a stop to it. At the least, undisciplined soldiers would have been discreet in their "off duty" escapades and been sober by the time they reported to duty when the 2nd Lt gets to see them. Any less discreet and they would have been busted harsh!  I was active duty 8 yrs, so I think I have a clue on this.

    Drunk on duty in time of war is a "court martial" offense, and they are implying that a large portion of the army is a bunch of undisciplined drunks, in time of war, on the front line and on duty???

    My BS detector is going off non stop reading this article.

    Vini, Vidi, Velcro I Came, I saw, I stuck around.

    by B Rubble on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 06:19:31 PM PDT

  •  Neither is this the end for ChimpCo (none)
    Bush has said nothing "illegal" has been authorized, referring of course to the  legal-looking memo his pet lawyers (the Walker committee) have cobbled together.

    The fact that, substantively, that memo is amateurish, insane crap won't matter to anyone but lawyers. As far as the press is concerned, they're not competent to judge. Their only responsibility is to cover "both sides" equally, despite the fact that one side is completely bogus. There are enough Federalist Society lawyers around to fill the talk shows and ensure that the whole matter will be seen as an "honest" dispute over abstruse legalistic questions about the president's constitutional power in wartime. The Media Bimbos--who are not responsible for knowing anything substantive about anything--will be able to cover it the way they prefer: as nothing but the usual left-right political ping pong.

    Bush's bulwark will be essentially the same one he used for the non-existence of WMD. Instead of "I trusted the Intelligence people," it will be "I never went beyond what the lawyers told me." Those memos will be turned from a liability into an asset. Ted Koppel and Dan Rather and Wolf Blitzer and Hume and the rest--they're not lawyers. If there's a "legal" document saying this stuff was all within the law, who are they to know it wasn't correct? And the preznit, being just a regular dumb guy like the rest of us--how was he supposed to know? Gosh, you gotta do what they experts say! What else can ya do? It's all so complicated!

    •  Reagan principled man of the people (4.00)
      Ronald Reagan's Cabinet

              "By the end of his term, 138 Reagan administration officials had been convicted, had been indicted, or had been the subject of official investigations for official misconduct and/or criminal violations.  In terms of number of officials involved, the record of his administration was the worst ever."

      • Lyn Nofziger--Convicted on charges of illegal lobbying of White House in Wedtech scandal.
      • Michael Deaver received three years' probation and was fined one hundred thousand dollars after being convicted for lying to a congressional subcommittee and a federal grand jury about his lobbying activities after leaving the White House. . .
      • E. Bob Wallach, close friend and law classmate of Atty General Edwin Meese, was sentenced to six years in prison and fined $250,000 in connection with the Wedtech influence-peddling scandal.
              Then there was:.
      • James Watt, Reagan's Secretary of the Interior was indicted on 41 felony counts for using connections at the Department of Housing and Urban Development to help his private clients seek federal funds for housing projects in Maryland, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands. Watt conceded that he had received $500,000 from clients who were granted very favorable housing contracts after he had intervened on their behalf.  In testifying before a House committee Watt said: "That's what they offered and it sounded like a lot of money to me, and we settled on it." Watt was eventually sentenced to five years in prison and 500 hours of community service.
      • The Iran-Contra scandal. In June, 1984, at a National Security Council meeting, CIA Director Casey urged President Reagan to seek third-party aid for the Nicaraguan contras.  Secretary of State Schultz warned that it would be an "impeachable offense" if the U.S. government acted as conduit for such secret funding.  But that didn't stop them.  That same day, Oliver North was seeking third-party aid for the contras.  But Reagan, the "teflon President" avoided serious charges or impeachment. . .
      • Oliver North--Convicted of falsifying and destroying documents, accepting an illegal gratuity, and aiding and abetting the obstruction of Congress.  Conviction overturned on appeal due to legal technicalities. . .
      • John Poindexter, Reagan's national security advisor, --guilty of five criminal counts involving conspiracy to mislead Congress, obstructing congressional inquiries, lying to lawmakers, used "high national security" to mask deceit and wrong-doing. . .
      • Richard Secord pleaded guilty to a felony charge of lying to Congress over Iran-Contra. . .
      • Casper Weinberger was Secretary of Defense during Iran-Contra.  In June 1992 he was indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of concealing from congressional investigators and prosecutors thousands of pages of his handwritten notes.  The personal memoirs taken during high level meetings, detailed events in 1985 and 1986 involving the Iran-Contra affair.  Weinberger claimed he was being unfairly prosecuted because he would not provide information incriminating Ronald Reagan.  Weinberger was scheduled to go on trial January 5, 1993, where the contents of his notes would have come to light and may have implicated other, unindicted conspirators.  While Weinberger was never directly linked to the covert operations phase of the Iran-Contra affair, he is believed to have been involved in the cover-up of the ensuing scandal. According to Special Prosecutor Lawrence Walsh, Weinberger's notes contain evidence of a conspiracy among the highest ranking Reagan Administration officials to lie to congress and the American public.  Some of the notes are believed to have evidence against then Vice-President George Bush who pardoned Weinberger to keep him from going to trial. . .
      • Elliott Abrams was appointed by President Reagan in 1985 to head the State Department's Latin American Bureau.  He was closely linked with ex-White House aide Lt. Col. Oliver North's covert movement to aid the Contras.  Working for North, Abrams coordinated inter-agency support for the contras and helped solicit illegal funding from foreign powers as well as domestic contributors.  Abrams agreed to cooperate with Iran-Contra investigators and pled guilty to two charges reduced to misdemeanors.  He was sentenced in 1991 to two years probation and 100 hours of community service but was pardoned by President George Bush. . .
      • Robert C. McFarlane was appointed Ronald Reagan's National Security Advisor in October 1983 and become well-known as a champion of the MX missile program in his role as White House liaison to congress.  In 1984, Mc Farlane initiated the review of U.S. policy towards Iran that led directly to the arms for hostages deal.  He also supervised early National Security Council efforts to support the Contras. Shortly after the Iran-Contra scandal was revealed in early 1987, McFarlane took an overdose of the tranquilizer Valium in an attempt to end his life.  In his own words: "What really drove me to despair was a sense of having failed the country." McFarlane pled guilty to four misdemeanors and was sentenced to two years probation and 200 hours of community service.  He was also fined $20,000.  He received a blanket pardon from President George Bush. . .
      • Alan D. Fiers was the Chief of the Central Intelligence Agency's Central American Task Force. Fiers pled guilty in 1991 to two counts of withholding information from congress about Oliver North's activities and the diversion of Iran arms sale money to aid the Contras.  He was sentenced to one year of probation and 100 hours of community service.  Fiers agreed to cooperate with prosecutors in exchange for having his felonies reduced to misdemeanors and his testimony gave a boost to the long standing criminal investigation of Lawrence Walsh, Special Prosecutor.  Fiers testified that he and three CIA colleagues knew by mid-1986 that profits from the TOW and HAWK missile sales to Iran were being diverted to the Contras months before it became public knowledge.  Alan Fiers received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President Bush. . .
      • Clair George was Chief of the CIA's Division of Covert Operations under President Reagan.  In August 1992 a hung jury led U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth to declare a mistrial in the case of Clair George who was accused of concealing from Congress his knowledge of the Iran-Contra affair.  George had been named by Alan Fiers when Fiers turned state's evidence for Lawrence Walsh's investigation. In a second trial on charges of perjury, false statements and obstruction of justice, George was convicted of lying to two congressional committees in 1986.  George faced a maximum five year federal prison sentence and a $20,000 fine for each of the two convictions.  Jurors cleared George of five other charges including two counts of lying to a federal grand jury.  Those charges would have carried a mandatory 10 months in prison upon conviction.  Clair George received a blanket pardon for his crimes from President George Bush. . .
      • Duane R. (Dewey) Clarridge was head of the CIA's Western European Division under President Reagan.  He was indicted on November 29, 1991 for lying to congress and to the Tower Commission that investigated Iran- Contra.  Clarridge was charged with five counts of perjury and two counts of making false statements for covering up his knowledge of a November 25, 1985 shipment of HAWK missiles to Iran. Clarridge was also suspected of diverting to the Contras weapons that were originally intended for the Afghan mujahaddeen guerrillas.  Clarridge received a blanket pardon for his crimes on Christmas Eve 1992 from President George Bush. . .
      • Environmental Protection Agency's favoritism toward polluters.  Assistant administrator unduly influenced by chemical industry lobbyists.  Another administrator resigned after pressuring employees to tone down a critical report on a chemical company accused of illegal pollution in Michigan.  The deputy chief of federal activities was accused of compiling an interagency "hit" or "enemies" list, like those kept in the Nixon Watergate period, singling out career employees to be hired, fired or promoted according to political beliefs. . .
      • Anne Gorscuh Burford resigned amid accusations she politically manipulated the Superfund money. . .
      • Rita Lavelle was fired after accusing a senior EPA official of "systematically alienating the business community." She was later indicted, tried and convicted of lying to Congress and served three months of a six-month prison sentence.  After an extensive investigation, in August 1984, a House of Representatives subcommittee concluded that top-level EPA appointees by Reagan for three years "violated their public trust by disregarding the public health and the environment, manipulating the Superfund program for political purposes, engaging in unethical conduct and participating in other abuses.".
      • Neglected nuclear safety. A critical situation involving nuclear safety had been allowed to develop during the Reagan era.  Immense sums, estimated at 200 billion or more, would be required in the 1990s to replace and make safe America's neglected, aging, deteriorating, and dangerous nuclear facilities. . .
      • Savings & Loan Bail-out. Hundreds of billions of dollars were needed to bail out savings and loan institutions that either had failed during the deregulation frenzy of the eighties or were in danger of bankruptcy. . .
      • Reckless airline deregulation. Deregulation of airline industry took too broad a sweep, endangering public safety.
      • Richard Allen, National Security adviser resigned amid controversy over an honorarium he received for arranging an interview with Nancy Reagan. . .
      • Richard Beggs, chief administrator at NASA was indicted for defrauding the government while an executive at General Dynamics. . .
      • Guy Flake, Deputy Secretary of Commerce, resigned after allegations of a conflict of interest in contract negotiations. . .
      • Louis Glutfrida, Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency resigned amid allegations of misuses of government property. . .
      • Edwin Gray, Chairman of the Federal Home Loan Bank was charged with illegally repaying himself and his wife $26,000 in travel costs. . .
      • Max Hugel, CIA chief of covert operations who resigned after allegations of fraudulent financial dealings. . .
      • Carlos Campbell, Assistant Secretary of Commerce resigned over charges of awarding federal grants to his personal friends' firms. . .
      • Raymond Donovan, Secretary of Labor indicted for defrauding the New York City Transit Authority of $7.4. million.
      { Republicans will point out that Donovan was acquitted.  And that really matters in Donovan's case, because he was a Republican.  But it didn't matter for Clinton or any of his cabinet, most all of whom were acquitted, because THEY were Democrats!} * John Fedders, chief of enforcement for the Securities and Exchange Commission resigned over charges of beating his wife. . .
      • Arthur Hayes, Commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration resigned over illegal travel reimbursements. . .
      • J. Lynn Helms, chief of the Federal Aviation Administration resigned over a grand jury investigation of illegal business activities. . .
      • Marjory Mecklenburg, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Department of Health and Human Resources resigned over irregularities on her travel vouchers. . .
      • Robert Nimmo, head of the Veterans Administration resigned when a report criticized him for improper use of government funds. . .
      • J. William Petro, U.S. Attorney fired and fined for tipping off an acquaintance about a forthcoming Grand Jury investigation. . .
      • Thomas C. Reed, White House counselor and National Security Council adviser resigned and paid a $427,000 fine for stock market insider trading. . .
      • Emanuel Savas, Assistant Secretary of HUD resigned over assigning staff members to work on government time on a book that guilty to expense account fraud and accepting kickbacks on government contracts. . .
      • Charles Wick, Director of the U.S. Information Agency investigated for taping conversations with public officials without their approval.
          Two types of problems typified the ethical misconduct cases of the Reagan years, and both had heavy consequences to citizens everywhere.  One stemmed from ideology and deregulatory impulses run amok; the other, from classic corruption on a grand scale.
      • The Pentagon procurement scandal, which resulted from the Republicans' enormous infusion of money too quickly into the Defense Department after the lean Carter years . . .
      • Massive fraud and mismanagement in the Department of Housing and Urban Development throughout Reagan's eight years.  These were finally documented in congressional hearings in spring 1989, after Reagan left office.  Cost the taxpayers billions of dollars in losses.  What made this scandal most shameful was that Reagan's' friends and fixers profited at the expense of the poor, the very people HUD and the federal government were pledged to assist through low-income housing. . .  
             Despite their many public lies about the matter, it was eventually proven that the Sales of weapons to Iran, followed by illegal financial support of the Central American Contras were carried out with the knowledge of, among others, President Ronald Reagan, Vice President George Bush, Secretary of State George P. Shultz, Secretary of Defense Caspar W. Weinberger, Director of Central Intelligence William J. Casey, and national security advisers Robert C. McFarlane and John M. Poindexter.  Of these officials, only Weinberger and Shultz dissented from the policy decision.  

      Weinberger eventually acquiesced and ordered the Department of Defense to provide the necessary arms. Large volumes of highly relevant, contemporaneously created documents were systematically and willfully withheld from investigators by several Reagan Administration officials in an attempt to cover up the administration's extensive corruption.

      "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

      by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 09:37:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  Look closely -- (none)
      If the president is above the law -- has it "inherent" in him to "set aside the law," which of course includes the Constitution -- then the Constitution would not provide for impeaching and removing his ass for committing crimes.

      And yet the Constitution does provide for impeaching and removing his ass.

      Not everyone in the media is gong to fall down and worship a legalistic-appearing document.  Some of them do have sufficient knowledge to not pretend everything's hunky-dory.

      A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

      by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:32:08 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Hiding prisoners from the Red Cross (4.00)
    is despicable as well as illegal. There is no "anti-terrorism, national security" argument to justify that. None. Zero.

    Maybe I'm naive, but I never thought I lived in a country whose government would be hiding prisoners from the Red Cross.

    This is all so depressing.

    The truth needs to come out on all this. The guilty must be punished, and I'm NOT talking about "a few bad apples."

    I'd like my Constitution back. The Geneva Conventions, too.

  •  zero rating (none)
    how do you give a zero rating?  it doesn't seem like i can give any lower than a one. does something special have to be done?  i see a post above that certainly deserves one!


    Bush must not be elected in '04!

    by esherard8 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:07:53 PM PDT

    •  re: zero rating (4.00)
      you have to achieve "trusted user" status to give a zero rating.  whenever you get there you'll have that as an option.

      however, if you're referring to adamkhan's post, i'll have to ask you to re-think that, as well as michael in chicago.  if you really think that adam is a troll, you should give him a 1 as you already have.  that means that the post is contributing nothing to the discussion. if you just think that the post sucks, you should use the 2 (marginal).  if the only reason you want to downrate the post is because you disagree with it, you should leave it alone, no matter how strongly you feel. many people even give 3's and 4's to posts that they disagree with if they're well written and contain good points.

      but zero ratings are for "super-trolls".  that is for posts that should be removed from the thread for one reason or another.  these are usually from known trolls who are getting flustered with continually losing arguments to the superior intellects of kossakistan and are just trying to disrupt the threads as best they can with profanity-laden and content free gibberish.  or it could be used to edit out something that should never have appeared in the first place - let's say some poster resorts to posting porno pix some night.

      adamkhan's post in another thread where he says nothing but just posts a link to adam "nuke the al qaeda navy" yoshida would be a reasonable candidate for a zero rating.  but his post on this thread is actually worth addressing, not suppressing.  even if 99.9% of his DNA is from critters that live under bridges...

      so now the facts are partisan?

      by zeke L on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:31:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Also (none)

        His post drew forth some great responses. If its rating falls below zero, those responses disappear with it. So even trusted users should give it a one or a two (or maybe even a three).
      •  thank you (none)
        the infamous "trusted user" status...  heh heh.  i stand by my decision with a 1.. i haven't given too many 1s on this board but that torture position seemed virtually indefensible.  in any event all the trusted users have to rate it below 1 anyway for the discussion to be silenced.. so i didn't feel the 1 really hurt that much.  

        i suppose you have to put a lot of diaries and a lot of tip jars for that honor!

        thanks again,

        Bush must not be elected in '04!

        by esherard8 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 07:08:05 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  A Few Bad Apples? (none)
    The appropriate adage is: Apples don't fall far from the tree.

    We are fools whether or not we dance so we might as well dance...

    by infinitydancer on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:09:33 PM PDT

  •  The Author of the Torture Memo (none)
    the president's faithful counsel, the chief lawyer for the White House..was a partner at Vinson & Elkins, the Enron attorneys..does that tell us something?
  •  The last sentence of the WaPo article (none)
    by Dana Priest is as follows:
    "The Post deleted several lines from the memo that are not germane to the legal arguments being made in it and that are the subject of further reporting by The Post. "

    What is the "further reporting" about?  Anyone know?

    •  I'd love to know. Talk about enigmatic... (none)
      I loaded the memo but it is 50 pages.  And it caused my screen/computer/whatever to freeze, so I took a break from it...

      I guess we have Gen. Boykin Rules of Engagement: our god is bigger.

      by Marisacat on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:53:33 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I think it's more than just the administration (4.00)
    Back in July 2003 AP reported the following about what Speaker Hastert said on Fox News Sunday regarding the failure to find WMDs in Iraq:

    "You know, intelligence is not an exact science," said Hastert, R-Ill. Before the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, "we had a hard time just figuring out what was going, because our foreign intelligence was decimated. The human intelligence was decimated in 10 years before" by Clinton's proclivity not to use human rights violators and other shady individuals as intelligence operatives (emphasis added).

    ``We've spent the last four years, or 3{[sic] years, trying to build up credible intelligence sources so we can get people to get the human intelligence that we need,'' Hastert said. (Here's the link to the cached report.)

    I believed back then that this was more than another ludicrous attempt to blame Clinton. Months earlier I had heard a former CIA agent and counter-intelligence chief speak on the need for Americans to get over our "squeamishness" about torture and assassination so our government could gather the  "humint"  needed to fight the "war on terror".

    When I read Hastert's remarks I felt quite sure -- and still do -- that they were another element in a well-laid plan to plant the seeds of justifiable torture and murder in the minds of the public.

    I've posted a link describing the talk I heard on threads here before, but here it is again in case you're interested. I can't begin to tell you how alternately slick and creepy this guy was (the link is to a report on a talk given in Austin, TX. The one I attended was in Ohio, but it's the same guy and sounds like exactly the same themes.)

    I guess my main point is this: there's evidence out there that the plans for using torture, assassination and other legally proscribed means to prosecute the war were determined well in advance. We'll know if our leaders really plan, as they say, to get to the bottom of this nightmare if they uncover the networks of collusion behind the public relations campaign that accompanied the approval of torture policies.

    Candor defeats paranoia -- Allen Ginsberg

    by ponderer on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 07:38:46 PM PDT

    •  Hastert (none)
      The human intelligence was decimated in 10 years before" by Clinton's proclivity not to use human rights violators and other shady individuals as intelligence operatives

      Holy M*F* Sh*t. I cannot believe that he actually said that. I am breathless. That is not planting seeds, that is coming right out and saying that we need to go out and torture people. How did he get away with saying something like that? And how can anyone possibly spin that as a negative for the Clinton Administration? I am this > < close to giving up on the human race. Well, the Republican part of it, anyway. Please let the current scandal drench this administration in blood for generations to come.

      •  They always say that (3.66)
        In Oct 1983, when the marine barracks was blown up in Beirut, reagan blamed Carter.

        In aug 1990, when iraq invaded kuwait, ed meese went on larry king and blamed Carter.

        and there are a few other examples.

        The always talk about personal responsibility, but they never really mean it.   Look at reagan refused to take responsibility for trading arms for hostages.  he insisted that he was only sending the plane loads of missiles to establish good will with iranian moderates.

        Today, when powell and Rice and their  ilk lie, they blame the CIA for bad info (yellow cake, terror stats, PDBs, UN presentation, etc.).  They never take responsibility for anything.

      •  Fat Denny (none)
        I hate to defend Hastert because he is full of shit.

        But he meant that we could not recruit spys that were themselves criminals to spy on bigger criminals.

        So we couldn't recruit a member of al-Qaeda if we knew he was guilty of drug and gun running or torturing people.

        The CIA earned that restriction in the 60's-80's.

        But it did keep us from penetrating al-Qaeda.  We had to rely on electronic surveillence.  That is what fat Denny meant.

        "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

        by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:14:41 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Put like that (none)
          it makes a little bit of sense, but I think that it's a fallacious argument. I'm not an expert on intelligence gathering, but isn't there a difference between getting information from a "human rights violator" and recruiting him/her? Between working with them and having them work for you? It's the difference between a snitch and an undercover cop. There's a line you don't cross in there somewhere, although granted it can get hazy.

          Secondly, it seems that Clinton had no problem gathering info on Al Qaeda, so it looks like his restrictions were working just fine. Thirdly, electronic surveillance has grown in leaps and bounds in the last couple of decades, so it's nothing to sneeze at.

          Anyway, thanks for making some points I hadn't thought of.

          •  Spys (none)
            It works like this.  You want to take down the mob in the Sopranos.

            So you flip Paulie Walnuts and he starts giving you info that is building your case for an indictment of Tony Soprano.

            Then Paulie shoots someone.

            Maybe he had to because he was ordered to.

            The FBI can jump on Paulie for murder, and try to make a circumstantial case against Tony for ordering the hit.  But that is not what they are trying to do.

            So they just look the other way on Paulie's murder and use it to make him wear a wire.

            Then transfer that to informants the CIA was using to penetrate al-Qaeda.

            Well, congress got so fed up with the CIA looking the other way on drugs and gun running and assassinations, that they banned the CIA from dealing with these types of unsavory characters.

            It's totally understandable.

            But it does make it a lot harder to build a criminal case against mobsters and terrorists.

            "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

            by BooMan23 on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 12:04:12 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  But it Doesn't Work Like That (none)
              There's a scenario almost exactly as you describe that took place in Boston, and the FBI agents who were running Bolger as a supposed inside source are now in prison.  

              Yes, there are gradations, and somebody who was an unsavory character might not necessarily be so bad that we shouldn't trust them.  But for most of the unsavory characters, they're not worthy of our trust.  The Nazis that we protected after WWII gave us specious info on the Soviets, the death squaders gave us horrible information about supposedly communists in Latin America, and we don't even need to talk about the losers and con men surrounding and including Chalabi who helped get us into this war.  

              Because of the nature of the demands and the context, we're not going to get many choirboys to spy for us.  But thinking you have to deal with war criminals and human rights violators is often a slippery slope, not just morally, but as as matters of efficacy and reliability.  

              Remember, some of those thugs we relied on screwed us, or caused our leaders to say their screwed us and led to us taking them out--Noriega, Milosevic, Saddam...

      •  Why give up (none)
        on the entire human race, its only the US myth American goodness you have to give up on.  There are plenty of people around the world who understand why this is so dangerous?

        "By focusing fear and hatred on the Tutsi, the organizers hoped to forge solidarity among Hutu." -- Human Rights Watch

        by a gilas girl on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 10:26:53 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Oh, I don't think (none)
          I've ever had the US myth of American goodness; not as an adult, anyway. Among other things, I grew up in France, so my perspective was already a little different.

          As for giving up on the entire human race, I tend to retreat into black-and-white thinking when I get frustrated and tired. I just feel that there are so many things wrong with the world, and that so many of them are out of my control, that I just want to throw my hands up in the air and turn my back on it all. Forget about everything.

          Of course, I'm not going to do that. Focus on the things I can work on. Don't get overwhelmed by the big picture. Stay informed because I just love being so intensely frustrated ;)

  •  Did they try to hide the torture? (none)
    Did they really believe that all of this would not come to light?  I personally do not think so.  they believe that they can do no wrong and that with their P.R. machine and god in their corner, that America would buy this torture as O.K.  I hope, I truly hope, that america is revolted by this.

    Let's see what happens.  Bush's approval rate is hovering around 45%.  That's alot of people who still plan on voting for him even knowing what we know so far.

    •  I agree with you . . . (none)
      Why else would they have sent a former CIA agent out on tour if not because they wanted to soften up the public for the inevitable exposure of what they were, according to this Newsweek article, doing already?

      Candor defeats paranoia -- Allen Ginsberg

      by ponderer on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 09:48:23 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Save this one for later reference (none)
    Some people below have suggested that the media is too timid or stupid or committed to "even-handedness" to call the techniques approved by Sanchez and Justice and Albert Gonzalez illegal.

    That's not true.

    Anyone who can read knows they are violations of the Geneva Conventions.

    To wit:

    Article VI

    This Constitution, and the laws of the United States which shall be made in pursuance thereof; and all treaties made, or which shall be made, under the authority of the United States, shall be the supreme law of the land; and the judges in every state shall be bound thereby, anything in the Constitution or laws of any State to the contrary notwithstanding.

    It's my personal feeling that the Geneva Conventions are so idealistic and restrictive on the matter of interrogating prisoners of war, that they are ineffective.  They go so far as to say you can't make a prisoner uncomfortable.  Strictly enforcing the Geneva Conventions becomes as absurd as strictly enforcing the speed limit.  But these crimes of ours are the equivalent of doing 90 in a 35 mph zone.  Our country is in FLAGRANT violation of the Geneva conventions.

    And here is my main point: the Geneva conventions are the law of the land.  They cannot be blown off by a written opinion of the Justice Dept., by the White House Counsel, or even by Presidential fiat.

    And that is why the President is in such deep doo-doo.  That is why Ashcroft won't cough up the memos en toto.

    It is also why even Hannity and Rush can't spin their way out of this one.  They don't have a legal leg to stand on and they know it.

    Inhofe gave it a whirl with his "I'm outraged by the outrage" comment.  But it received virtually no echo chamber.

    No Senator has gone on television since to defend the President.  Pat Roberts won't defend it.  McCain is seething.  Everyone else is lying low.

    And this isn't just criminal it's insanely incompetent.  The memo that Ashcroft won't cough up was created for this specific purpose.  It was written to offer a legal defense to the President and the soldiers if and when these abuses ever came to light.

    And yet, the legal basis of the memos is so flawed that they won't even let us see it.  That is pathetic.

    The President will be told shortly that he must demand the resignation of Ashcroft and Rumsfeld, his White House counsel Albert Gonzalez, Gen. Richard Myers and many underlings.

    Without that, the GOP won't go to bat to ward of impeachment.

    But actually, when Frist and DeLay and Hastert begin to contemplate Bush's chances when his CIA director, his AG, his Sec of Defense, etc. they will ask Bush and Cheney to resign.  Hastert will become President.

    Then they will nominate Frist at the convention.  They will offer the VP slot to Guliani.  Rudy will refuse.

    They then will ask Pataki and he will accept.

    Frist/Pataki will still get smoked, but it will limit the Congressional fallout as much as is possible.

    If you think I'm crazy, you have to consider the alternative.

    Having to go before the people and defend patently illegal behavior under any legal interpretation.  They could have defended it in Guantanomo, but not in Iraq.  It is illegal and no one wants to argue otherwise.  No one has up to know, and nothing is going to change.

    Then we have the upcoming Senate Intelligence Report on WMD, the 9/11 Commission report, the Valerie Plame grand jury that could take down Rove and Scooter Libby, the Fahrenheit 9/11 movie, the Sharon Bush book, the Cheney Energy Task Force law suit...

    They might have been able to beat all this back if they weren't saddled by the torture scandal.

    Now they don't have the energy.

    Arlen Specter does not want to run against that.  

    It's over folks.  Over.

    Frist/ heard it here first.

    And here is the main point.

    "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

    by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 09:12:14 PM PDT

    •  Who will run for the Republicans? (none)
      I think you are extrapolating widely, but am also certain that there will be those on the Republican side who have started considering whether it's wise to give the nomination to Bush.

      It's quite apparent that a second Bush administration will give the Repub's a blow that will make Nixon and Watergate seem like a breeze compared to the storm they're about to reap.

      "I don't do quagmires, and my boss doesn't do nuance."

      by SteinL on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:19:53 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Impeachment (none)
        Bush already has enough PLEDGED delegates to win the nomination on the first ballot.

        The only way to deny Bush the nomination is to convince him to withdraw his name from consideration.

        The only way to do that is to explain to him that he faces impeachment.

        Now, it will not do the GOP ANY FAVORS to just get Bush to resign.  Cheney must resign as well.

        If that happens it makes Hastert president.  So Hastert will have few qualms about making this power move.

        But more importantly, the only Republican that is prominent AND conservative enough and good enough to have ANY chance of winning the election is Bill Frist.

        So, its really rather simple.

        Hastert and Frist cut each other a deal.  Hastert won't fight for the nomination in Sept. but he will get to be the 44th president of the United States for a few months.

        Frist will beat all comers at the convention because the delegates are VERY conservative.

        The rest of the party will go along because at least Frist will minimize a total congressional landslide.

        It's either that or Frist and Hastert lose their positions of power and go back to the minority under President Kerry.

        It's not hard to predict.  And it is the only sensible thing for them to do.  Therefore, being Republicans, they may not.   But being power thirsty vampires they probably will.

        See ya Dubya.  Not too nice knowing ya.

        "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

        by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 10:30:24 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  A little ways to go yet (none)
          I for one do not think this scenario is off the wall, but I think we are a long way from it.  A Plame indictment of Cheney and reaching higher might be the catalyst, or if someting comes out that really links the President to the leaked information on the Iranian code.  I think they can contain the torture scandal.  However, if Kerry starts his move in July, which I anticipate, and Bush sinks below 40 before the anticipated Kerry convention bounce -- if it looks like he doesn't have a hope in hell in Florida or Ohio, then I think the chances of the Repuglemmings dumping him do rise substantially.  But it's costly, and if the shrub doesn't want to go, he can be a vindictive SOB to anyone who moves on him.
    •  But the media IS the crux of it. (none)
      The media isn't going to attack Bush, they just wont.  Not the WaPo or the NYT and certainly not the corporate media cable news.  

      You said,

      "Some people below have suggested that the media is too timid or stupid or committed to "even-handedness" to call the techniques approved by Sanchez and Justice and Albert Gonzalez illegal.

      That's not true."

      But you never cited anything showing otherwise.  Where are the reports that call the White House activities "illegal"?  There are none.  They don't even call anyone of the Bush administration a liar, even when they clearly contradict verifiable facts.

      For the media to open this "scandal" up will take some hard-hitting reporting the likes of which America hasn't seen since Watergate.  Short of such reporting Americans will not recognize this institutionalized torture for what it is, a violation of the Geneva Conventions and thus, a violation of the US constitution.  Even if this interpretation somehow became the dominant meme, it's not clear that Americans would care.  The last time a president subverted the US constitution the public was so outraged that they elected his VP and coconspirator as president.  Even with Watergate, much of the public would have been satisfied if Nixon was merely censured or forced to make a public apology.  

      If new photos were to come out showing new and different methods of torture, then all bets are off, but until then, I just don't see much public outrage.  Americans don't care about memos or orders, they want sleazy photos and stained dresses.

      "And Orwell's hell, a terror era coming through. But this little brother's watching you too" -Zack de la Rocha, Voice Of The Voiceless

      by Subterranean on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:21:34 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Bush sucks (none)
        You make some good points.  But you are suffering from a trench mentality.  You have taken too much fire for too long.

        I'll start with an obvious point.  If Reagan had had a 45% approval rating when Iran-Contra hit he would have been impeached.  Reagan was spared because he was so popular the Dems didn't want to fight.

        Clinton would have been convicted and removed if he had a 45% approval and it had been an election year.

        Now both of them were facing a more hostile Congress than Bush, that is true.

        But if you think Tom DeLay doesn't realize that he can say "boo" and put his puppet Hastert in the oval office, then you don't know DeLay.

        No the difference this time is that this is a clear violation of law.

        Reagan was willing to sell his underlings down the river to save his ass.  And the Dems were willing to go along with it.

        Clinton could rely on the ambiguity in proving perjury and the rather low level of his crime.

        But Bush can do neither.  The crime is a crime, and not only have the NY Times and Wash Post said so explicitly THIS WEEK, but so did Bush Sr.'s chief of staff.

        No phalanx of Repubs are going on TV to justify this crap.  Ashcroft is basically in contempt of Congress.

        But the KEY is not the media but the heavy players in the GOP.  They can make themselves President.  And they want to limit the damage so they don't lose power.

        Bush is utterly fucked.

        "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

        by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:34:17 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Frist/Pataki Ticket (none)
        This is from Newsweek and it spells out exactly why we will not be facing Bush/Cheney, but Frist/Pataki

        Indeed, one reason the prison abuse scandal won't go away--two months after gruesome photos were published worldwide--is that a long paper trail of memos and directives from inside the administration has emerged, often leaked by those who disagreed with rougher means of questioning.

        Last week the White House dismissed news accounts of one such memo, an explosive August 2002 brief from the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel disclosed by The Washington Post.

        The memo, drafted by former OLC lawyer John Yoo, has been widely criticized for seeming to flout conventions against torture. It defends most interrogation methods short of severe, intentionally inflicted pain and permanent damage.

        White House officials told reporters that such abstract legal reasoning was insignificant and did not reflect the president's orders. But NEWSWEEK has learned that Yoo's August 2002 memo was prompted by CIA questions about what to do with a top Qaeda captive, Abu Zubaydah, who had turned uncooperative.

        And it was drafted after White House meetings convened by George W. Bush's chief counsel, Alberto Gonzales, along with Defense Department general counsel William Haynes and David Addington, Vice President Dick Cheney's counsel, who discussed specific interrogation techniques, says a source familiar with the discussions. Among the methods they found acceptable: "water-boarding," or dripping water into a wet cloth over a suspect's face, which can feel like drowning; and threatening to bring in more-brutal interrogators from other nations.

        "Black folks voting for the Republican Party is like a bunch of chickens voting for Col. Sanders!"- JC Watts father

        by BooMan23 on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:57:45 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

      •  The Washington Post (none)
        and NY Times have described the tortures as being illegal.

        Same about the outrageous contents of the memo/es.

        By contrast, in order to believe your assertion, we have to pretend that the memo/es aren't being reported on because the media doesn't think they're newsworthy.

        Actually, of course, they do consider them newsworthy.  And why is that?  Because they are violations of the GCs, etc.  Violations are illegalities.

        A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

        by jnagarya on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:49:08 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  I hope you guys are right (none)
          It's true that I've become very disenchanted with politics, and more importantly, I just don't have any confidence in the ability of Americans to differentiate right from wrong, and to support an appropriate consequence for those who do wrong.  I just don't see Americans as being very intelligent, as having many values, or as even caring about their own government.   Just look at the troglodytes they elect to office!  

          Well I hope you guys are right. BooMan, your posts are inspiring reading, they have a very infectious optimism.  I need to check out more articles and see if maybe my despondence is clouding my outlook.  

          "And Orwell's hell, a terror era coming through. But this little brother's watching you too" -Zack de la Rocha, Voice Of The Voiceless

          by Subterranean on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 03:33:42 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

    •  This scenario (none)
      has a chance of moving along a bit faster if lots of people let their congresscritters know their feelings. Congress is reactive on things like this, not proactive.

      Can't imagine that people here don't know, but just in case: Members of Congress have web sites, most have 800 numbers, a paper-and-ink letter has added impact.  

      Write letters to your local newspaper, too. Volume counts.

      And after I finish today's letter to my senators, I'm going to pre-order Sy Hersh's book from my local independent bookseller.

      Yesterday's weirdness is tomorrow's reason why. - Hunter S. Thompson

      by Mnemosyne on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 08:13:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  None of this is (none)
    really news.

    How long have we known that tortures were going on simultaneously at Abu Ghraib, Guantanamo, and across Iraq?  A month and a half or so?  

    Obviously, those few "bad apples" at Abu Ghraib were not a travelling detention center-to-detention center road show.

    As well, it is a matter of procedure that Rumsfeld must sign off on stuff that will be carried out down the chain of command.

    And, as he isn't the top person in the Executive branch, he must get permission -- or orders -- from Bushit.  And, as these individuals are backstabbers and cut-throats, and know none of themselves can be trusted, it is certain that they "get it in writing" in order to protect their own asses.  So Rumsfeld was certain to get it in writing from Bushit.

    And then there's the description of the pages "missing" from the Taguba report: copy of the document by Gen. Miller to those in charge of "interrogations" in Iraq (not only Abu Ghraib); and drafts of communications between he and Rumsfeld.  Obviously, Miller was carrying out the orders which came down from Rumsfeld.  And was getting permissions and signings-off from Rumsfeld.

    Nixon said that "If the president does it, it isn't illegal."  And he meant it.  Bushit stole the election.  His and the DOJ's lawyers gave him the excuse that he's above the law.  So Bushit also meant it when he acted in accordance with those memoranda.

    And of course Sanchez -- as top commander in Iraq -- signed documents authorizing the tortures that the "working group," Rumsfeld, and Miller authorized.

    The chains of command are "fuzzy" and "confusing" -- that's because there were several, one of which went from the detention center near Baghdad airport over the head of everyone from Sanchez down and directly to the White House.  But it's relatively easy to put it all together: just get the names and ranks of the various officers at one level, then find out who is above him.  Ultimately, of course, it leads to Rumsfeld and Bushit.

    In short, the circumstantial evidence, and the requirements of law as they tie into self-interest, are by themselves conclusive.

    A lie is halfway around the world before the truth can get its shoes on. -- Mark Twain

    by jnagarya on Sun Jun 13, 2004 at 11:30:17 PM PDT

  •  Any chance... (none)
    This will spill over into an investigation into torture at Camp X-Ray?

    He who lives in the present, has no knowledge of the past nor vision for the future.

    by DeanDemocrat on Mon Jun 14, 2004 at 01:25:52 AM PDT

  •  It happens all the time, but (none)
    It's not the New York Bar Association, it's the New York City Bar Association.  We're misattributed at least once a week.  Also, Scott's the chair of our International Human Rights Committee, not of the whole thing.

    The full text of the report is available at  You'll see a link on the front page.

  •  Bush okays Torture... (none)
    Men, women, children. OUR FLAG. HOW DARE THEY.

    In God's name no less.

    "Nothing illegal" depends on what "your defenition of illegal is".

    Bush says it's legal, so it cannot be illegal even if laws  so otherwise.  Shorter Ashcroft.

    Because Bush said it was OK it is not illegal. "Only countries with something to hide keep things secret..."

    Bush's lies  and torture and description of wrongdoing all apply to him. Propganda- project  faults and methods on others.

    "The few bad apples" Bush refers was the  people with the nerve and  integrity to whistleblow.

    •  Bush Knew (none)
      Justin Raimondo's column this morning has a very interesting quote from the diary of Joe Ryan, who was one of the jailers at Abu Ghraib:

      "The other big news at work was a message sent to us from Ms. Rice, the National Security Advisor, thanking us for the intelligence that has come out of our shop and noting that our work is being briefed to President Bush on a regular basis. Now if we could declassify some of it in order to shut up these people who say we have no business over here, that would be the best day!"

      So President Bush seems at least to have been aware of intelligence gleaned at Abu Ghraib.

  •  Deliberate Disregard for International Law (none)
    demands deliberate legal intervention by neutral parties to the conflict. No one is above the law.

    Article 10
    The High Contracting Parties may at any time agree to entrust to an organization which offers all guarantees of impartiality and efficacy the duties incumbent on the Protecting Powers by virtue of the present Convention.
    When prisoners of war do not benefit or cease to benefit, no matter for what reason, by the activities of a Protecting Power or of an organization provided for in the first paragraph above, the Detaining Power shall request a neutral State, or such an organization, to undertake the functions performed under the present Convention by a Protecting Power designated by the Parties to a conflict.
    If protection cannot be arranged accordingly, the Detaining Power shall request or shall accept, subject to the provisions of this Article, the offer of the services of a humanitarian organization, such as the International Committee of the Red Cross, to assume the humanitarian functions performed by Protecting Powers under the present Convention.
    Any neutral Power or any organization invited by the Power concerned or offering itself for these purposes, shall be required to act with a sense of responsibility towards the Party to the conflict on which persons protected by the present Convention depend, and shall be required to furnish sufficient assurances that it is in a position to undertake the appropriate functions and to discharge them impartially.
    No derogation from the preceding provisions shall be made by special agreements between Powers one of which is restricted, even temporarily, in its freedom to negotiate with the other Power or its allies by reason of military events, more particularly where the whole, or a substantial part, of the territory of the said Power is occupied.

    Article 13
    Prisoners of war must at all times be humanely treated. Any unlawful act or omission by the Detaining Power causing death or seriously endangering the health of a prisoner of war in its custody is prohibited, and will be regarded as a serious breach of the present Convention. In particular, no prisoner of war may be subjected to physical mutilation or to medical or scientific experiments of any kind which are not justified by the medical, dental or hospital treatment of the prisoner concerned and carried out in his interest.
    Likewise, prisoners of war must at all times be protected, particularly against acts of violence or intimidation and against insults and public curiosity.
    Measures of reprisal against prisoners of war are prohibited.

    Article 130
    Grave breaches to which the preceding Article relates shall be those involving any of the following acts, if committed against persons or property protected by the Convention: wilful killing, torture or inhuman treatment, including biological experiments, wilfully causing great suffering or serious injury to body or health, compelling a prisoner of war to serve in the forces of the hostile Power, or wilfully depriving a prisoner of war of the rights of fair and regular trial prescribed in this Convention.

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