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I'm shocked there isn't a diary on this yet, and if there is I apologize. I can't find it in American news outlets, maybe that's the problem.

But the Toronto Star (Canada's largest paper) is reporting the Dick Cheney met with Republican Senators today and asked them to allow the CIA to torture prisoners.

More below the fold...

As we all know, the Senate has voted twice to ban torture tactics by Americans while Bush has threatened to veto. An AP article up at The Toronto Star (www.thestar.com) but (as of now) not up at CNN, NY Times or any other American paper I can find cites Republican aides in saying that the VP met personally with Republican Senators today to ask them to endorse American torture practices.

The article claims that Cheney met with all the Senators without their aides. Apparently John McCain immediately voiced opposition while Jeff Sessions backed the VP.

I'd post some exerpts of something but my computer skills are very limited.

Originally posted to 3ML on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 02:56 PM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Link (4.00)
    My HTML skills are severly limited. Hopefully this link will work:

    Toronto Star Article

    The fact that the American media does not seem to be reporting this is terrifying.

  •  Interesting! (4.00)
    I haven't seen anything, but I've been bizzy.

    I'll make a wager here and now.  Cheney is drawing a line in the sand:  You either support me or you don't.

    If not - and it would be political suicide to support the program he has proposed - then he knows he has no control or support.  At the least he knows he is losing control and we may hear of a "health announcement".

    If so - well, we then know where everyone stands and our work is cut out for us.  

    www.ePluribusMedia.org

    by kfred on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:01:08 PM PST

  •  I fully support the right (4.00)
    of Patrick Fitzgerald to use torture to get to the bottom of the CIA Leak!
  •  Here's a bit from the middle (4.00)
    Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning ``cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

    The vice president made his comments at a regular weekly private meeting of Senate Republican senators, according to several lawmakers who attended. Cheney often attends the meetings, a chance for the rank-and-file to discuss legislative strategy, but he rarely speaks.

    In this case, the room was cleared of aides before the vice president began his remarks, said by one senator to include a reference to classified material. The officials who disclosed the events spoke on condition of anonymity, citing the confidential nature of the discussion.

    "The vice president's office doesn't have any comment on a private meeting with members of the Senate," Steve Schmidt, a spokesman for Cheney, said today.

    The vice president drew support from at least one lawmaker, Sen. Jeff Sessions of Alabama, while Arizona Sen. John McCain dissented, officials said.

    McCain, who was tortured while held as a prisoner during the Vietnam War, is the chief Senate sponsor of an anti-torture provision that has twice cleared the Senate and triggered veto threats from the White House.

    Cheney's decision to speak at the meeting underscored both his role as White House point man on the contentious issue and the importance the administration attaches to it.

    What will he do at the next meeting? Perhaps brandish an array of fingernail spikes?

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:02:58 PM PST

    •  disturbing (4.00)
      that he is using classified info to make his argument.  Who can contest his view of that info?  noone.  So he can spin it anyway he wants.  But even just telling Repugs only what that classified info is is disturbing.  Classified info should never be the subject of a partisan meeting.
    •  Taking bets (none)
      The "reference to classified material" is about those not-so-secret-anymore CIA torture gulags.

      One goose, fully cooked. One gander, gun to his head.

      by PatsBard on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:13:17 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  whatever else you may think of John McCain (none)
      I am grateful he was there to say that to Cheney.

      When I was a child during the Vietnam War, my mother wore a wristband with John McCain's name on it. It's actually one of my earliest memories. I can't count the number of political disagreements I have with John McCain! But on this particular day, and at this in point in our American journey, all I can say is:

      God Bless John McCain. GOD BLESS HIM!

      "[I]n all due respect to your profession [journalism], you do a very good job of protecting the leakers." -- Bush on Oct 7, 2003

      by QuickSilver on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:11:30 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  why not pass a bill restricting Jewish rights ??? (none)
      we don't NEED a bill allowing America to restrict Jewish rights, because America doesn't restrict Jewish rights, nor does the United States ever plan to restrict Jewish rights

      but, you know, just in case, to prevent a terroristr attack, just like the torture measures:

      Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning ``cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.
      •  I read this article (none)
        on yahoo news today.

        It made me wonder, why would he tell senators this? Surely they know better? Surely the senators had seen the pics from Abu Ghraib? Who does he think he's talking to?

        And then I wondered, do any of these senators see the Cheney cabal as a threat to their own further  rise in politics?

    •  I think an exemption to use techniques... (none)
      that border on "cruel, inhumane and degrading" is reasonable in an emergency situation. Kahlid Sheikh Mouhamaad was such a situation.

      That being said the real problem is the systemic torture that has been authorized at Gitmo, Bagram, Abu Ghraib and elsewhere. It is the army guard and reserve members that are the one's who have been torturing prisoners.

      We have a moral and legal obligation to treat people in a dignified/decent manner and if God forbid an emergency situation were to arise we should be able to act accordingly as long as the necessary safeguards are in place.

      This exemption is not excessive - what would be wrong is continue to torture/degrade detained prisoners.

      "The problem in defense is how far you can go without destroying from within what you are trying to defend from without." Dwight D. Eisenhower

      by RichardG on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:59:18 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Emergency exemptions (none)
        While I don't think torture can ever be useful, let alone justified, I might be willing to consider an emergency exemption provided that everyone in the chain of command, up to and including the President, agreed to undergo the exact same torture.

        I suspect a lot of people would suddenly find themselves able to think of better solutions...

        •  toture is ineffective (none)
          it's not for getting accurate information from the object of the torture (someone being tortured will say whatever they think will make the torture stop) -- the Cheney administration sees it as a way to project an image of toughness, hoping that their no-bullshit image will protect us

          do unto others, dude

  •  This needs to get attention (4.00)
    People need to see this. This will confirm for the people that the Republicans are the torture party. Let them try to justify torture, I'd be willing to fight every election from now until the end of time on that issue.

    Recommend this, let's make some noise about this.

  •  Jeff Sessions is a scourge (4.00)
    Contemptible, ignorant goober.

    Let the great world spin for ever down the ringing grooves of change. - Tennyson

    by bumblebums on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:05:27 PM PST

    •  What do you expect... (none)
      Alabama is the home of the peanut capitol of the world...
    •  The Torture Nine (4.00)
      The McCain Anti-Torture Amendment passed 90-9.

      Allard (R-CO)
      Bond (R-MO)
      Coburn (R-OK)
      Cochran (R-MS)
      Cornyn (R-TX)
      Inhofe (R-OK)
      Roberts (R-KS)
      Sessions (R-AL)
      Stevens (R-AK)

      Both OK Senators voting in favor of torture.

      Cheney saw after this vote that it was going to be an uphill battle.

      As far as Cheney's concerned: "It ain't over 'til the last Iraqi screams."

      Where are we going and why are we in this handbasket?!

      by Ranting Roland on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:57:24 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Nice try, Dick (4.00)
    It looks like McCain is pushing back.

    From Bloomberg:

    McCain said his intent is to prevent abuses such as those at Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. He vowed today that his measure would be ``on every vehicle that goes through this body'' until it's enacted into law. ``It's not going away,'' he said on the Senate floor. ``This issue is incredibly harmful to the United States of America and our image throughout the world.''

    "Mr. Bush's relationship to the environment is roughly that of a doctor to a patient--when the doctor's name is Kevorkian." Bob Herbert, NYT

    by jorndorff on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:05:29 PM PST

    •  It's still just shocking to me... (4.00)
      ... that Republicans would even attempt to push torture measures through Congress when one of their own is a veteran who WAS tortured.  I mean, I know that those folks tend to frown on empathy, but good god, even a glazed doughnut could empathize with such a harrowing first-hand account from someone in their own social circle.
      •  i wish McCain (4.00)
        would say something like...well, Dick, if you had been in vietnam, which you weren't, and been a POW like me, which you weren't, you might view the geneva convention in a different light, you pathetic asswipe.

        explain how sending young people into battle without armoured vehicles is supporting the troops?

        by bluestatesam on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:29:46 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Chickenhawks don't give a damn (4.00)
        Look at how they attacked veterans who HAD served...

        This group opught to be treated to asampling of the treatment they all espouse....

        Frankly, I doubt any of them would survive Beast Barracks at West Point (at least the way it used to be) or even basic training.....

        THEY ALL ought to be stuck in a room while one of these "interrogations" is going on - as the one being "interrogated."  

        Maybe that's how we can find out the truth about way we went to war....  use the same treatment Cheney "recommends" on him and HIS staff.

        Want to bet that more than 19% of the US electorate would approve of Cheney going through one of those sessions?

  •  Here's a Yahoo story to rate up (4.00)
    WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney made an unusual personal appeal to Republican senators this week to allow CIA exemptions to a proposed ban on the torture of terror suspects in U.S. custody, according to participants in a closed-door session.

    Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

    link

    Hey, Dick. We've seen the pictures.

    Capitalism is not a form of government.

    by cotterperson on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:06:45 PM PST

  •  Cheney (none)
    seems to be one of the slimiest human beings who has ever walked the face of this earth.  He is not a good man.

    Let justice reign though the heavens tremble

    by Viceroy on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:07:48 PM PST

  •  Everybody who voted for Bush (4.00)
    Endorsed Torture.
    •  Not really fair (none)
      In 2000, no, in 2004, SHOULD have known... but, every single person that supports him now supports torture. And for those that do support torture, 9/11 has really screwed them up.

      With all the horrible things this Administration stands for, this is the one that outrages me more than anything.

      How can Americans support this? This has NEVER been what we are about.

      When will this story be front and center where is should be?

      "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying the cross." -- Sinclair Lewis

      by Dunbar on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:19:02 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  In my ethics class... (4.00)
        We took an informal poll.

        A good half the class was straight up in favor of torturing enemies, even more than we're doing right now.

        The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

        by Shapeshifter on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:28:53 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Wow. (none)
          If I may ask--where are you (regionally)?  What school?   Undergraduate?

          And is that half of the class failing?  I mean, it is ethics.  

          Then again, maybe those people should be taking morals.

          Your president lied to me.

          by Oaklander on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 09:57:03 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  In order: (none)
            Wisconsin, but in a town that has (historically) been strongly dominated by Republican/"Conservative" ideolology.

            A technical college.

            Undergraduate, of course.

            Half of the class is not failing, but if this were for real they would be for sure. (The class was thrown in because one of the other colleges in this school's "group" had an ethics class, it's the first time such a class has been taught and so there's a lot of slack.)

            The problem is that they have too many morals--and their morals suck. (Just try debating anything from the position of ethics and you get shouted down by people who have their own Sacred Moose opinions which you can neither challenge nor disregard if you want them to continue playing nice. The guy teaching it and i have actually been conspiring to whip them into shape, but it's an uphill battle.)

            (As another aside: argue from Utilitarianism, and don't bother with long-term views. These people flat out don't give a fuck about "rights". If torture works then torture, torture, torture, and throw in some torturing of innocent people just for the hell of it. Of course the problem is that torture simply doesn't work--both from a Game Theory and Utilitarian perspective, as well as every other rational perspective--but they tend not to be receptive to any debate because they refuse to even contemplate self-reflection on the subject.)

            The Shapeshifter's Blog -- Politics, Philosophy, and Madness!

            by Shapeshifter on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 11:25:42 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  No, even in 2000 (4.00)
        ...anyone who saw Bush laughing about executing death row inmates should have been able to see this coming.
    •  Think in Terms of '06 (none)
      Anyone who votes Republican in '06 endorses torture. The Democrats need to jump all over this ASAP.
  •  Good grief (none)
    I hope they said no!
  •  Recommend this Diary (none)
    This is absolutely ridiculous, it is one of the most unbelievable things I can remember this government doing.
  •  I'm sure he's got Pat Roberts on his side (4.00)
  •  What's really scary about this (none)
    is that there are people with whom I work
    who would not have a problem with this.

    I'm not sure he loses on this.

    I don't get it.

    •  Why torture is bad (4.00)
      I usually make the following comments to these right-wing torture-lovers:

      -- It simply doesn't work, and that's the practical reason that the Army manual on interrogation forbids it. With torture, what you get is a lot of screaming and a ton of incorrect information that someone then has to cross-check. Under torture people will say anything and accuse anybody to get the pain to stop. You get much more useful, accurate information if you gently work the prisoner over to a cooperating or inattentive point. MUCH less time spent in the field checking incorrect information; MUCH more correct information from willing/inattentive people.

      -- The moral arguments and "if we do it to them; they'll do it to us" arguments are usually lost on terrified Bush-fear-victims. "Torture is about us, not about them" doesn't work on terrified, cowardly people. So I try, "We won WW II without torture" and "what happened to the America that was the beacon on the hill, standing for liberty and freedom? The America that stood against the Communist and Saddam torture cells? Did we throw it all into the junkheap the first time we got scared? What does that say about us?"

      •  If only it were true (none)
        We weren't completely without it.  There was a documentary on History Channel about the last mass execution in the US.  It was about 8 U-Boat POWs that were tried and later hung for killing a fellow prisoner.  The prisoner had cooperated with his interrogators, then put him in the general population, where they knew the other prisoners knew he had cooperated.

        Anyway, somewhere in the middle of all of this, it was revealed that there was a "special" camp where certain prisoners were sent for interrogation.  In this camp, they used somewhat less than Geneva-friendly techniques.  The stuff they talked about during the show was far from the worst kind of things you hear about the Nazis or Japanese.  But that doesn't mean much.  I lost a great deal of respect for my country after seeing that.

      •  Confession (none)
        How are we going to get them to confess to being evil terrorists if we don't torture them? I mean, we've arrested more than 2,000 Muslims inside the US alone since 9/11 and not a single terrorist-related conviction. Don't you see the bad message this is sending out?
    •  As long as it doesn't affect them, (4.00)
      why should they care? Prime example of the ignorant American thought process. Yea, We're #1!!!

      Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

      by Skid on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:59:51 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I don't get it either (4.00)
      I truly, truly do not understand why Cheney and others are willing to put so much on the line to ensure the right to torture/degrade prisoners. Torture isn't even useful in terms of the intelligence it provides. It destroys the people who experience it, the people who administer it, the nation that turns a blind eye.

      Where does this come from? It's not good enough to just say he is slimy, evil, twisted, or whatever else, because he is clearly not alone in his beliefs.

  •  All Senators? (none)
    Or just all GOP Senators?
  •  He's been lobbying for this in the House (4.00)
    For at least a couple weeks, as soon as the Senate passed the amendment 90-9.  I'm assuming that failed if he's going back to the Senate to ask for an exemption, or perhaps he wants smooth sailing when the bills are reconciled in conference.

    Either way, he's a slimeball.  Lobbying for torture on Capitol Hill.  The whole "We don't torture anybody, but we have to be ALLOWED to" is about as transparent as you can get.  

    "I don't like our government using official state secrets as opposition research." -me

    by dday on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 03:52:27 PM PST

  •  Why would the event allow Cheney to (none)
    influence them?  He has a 19% approval rating and probably not for re-election.

    They'll be screwed in the next election, if they go along with his wishes.

    What kind of blackmail or coercion does Cheney use?

  •  Fuck Dick Cheney. What a scumbag. (none)
    I hope someday he finds himself in some undisclosed prison where the Geneva conventions are tossed aside...

    George Bush doesn't care about Black people.... and Andrea Mitchell doesn't care about the Truth....

    by DeanFan84 on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:06:00 PM PST

  •  American Media (none)
    How are all the major media sources still silent on this? It's the top story at the Toronto Star, and the NY Times isn't even covering it.

    This is a terrible sign...

    •  NY Times column-Bob Herbert (none)
      on this story yesterday.

      See truthout.org

      •  But No AP Story (none)
        Ya, WaPo and NYT have run editorials, but nobody is carrying the AP wire story. That's not right. This will be the banner headline in Toronto tomorrow, a million people will see that in a single city. The same can't be said of an opinion piece that runs on page seventeen on something like that.

        Big difference.

        •  ajc.com Has the Story ... (none)
          ... but not on the front page of the website.  That's reserved for news of the Georgia HS footbal playoffs, which any right-thinking American would agree are much more important than the Vice President making an ass out of himself yet again.

          Click on world/national to get to it.  Registration required.

    •  It'll be buried (none)
      in tomorrow's paper until they fine tune the spin on it.

      Can anyone tell me why my American flag was made in China?

      by Skid on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:16:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  This fits right in with 9/11....9/11/73 I mean (4.00)
    9/11/73 was the day that Salvador Allende was shot and killed during the CIA-sponsored coup that overthrew his democratically elected government. This coup was followed by a "dirty war", with full support from the US, against leftist subversives. This "war" featured torture and disappearance on a large scale.

    Dick Cheney had moved from Nixon's White House to an investment banking job at this time. His mentor was Donald Rumsfeld.

    I'm seriously starting to believe that such a dirty war could actually become possible here in the US if we continue to slide down the slippery slope we are on. We are going back to the days when brown and black lives truly did not matter. It's only a short step to increase the persecution to those that can be considered leftists or supporters of the terrorists. That includes virtually everybody here.

    Think about it. Then get on the phone and demand of your Senators and Representatives that torture does not have a place in America. That needs to be put in our past, not our future.

    "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

    by bewert on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:23:10 PM PST

    •  This link is especially rich (none)
      This Rolling Stone article on Cheney is great. I like this part (but there is much more):
      Bradley recognized that Nixon had violated fundamental American values; Cheney saw Watergate as a power struggle. They even debated each other, in a forum arranged for Bradley's clients.

      "He claimed it was just a political ploy by the president's enemies," says Bradley. "Cheney saw politics as a game where you never stop pushing. He said the presidency was like one of those giant medicine balls. If you get ahold of it, what you do is, you keep pushing that ball and you never let the other team push back."

      It gets better. It's well worth the read.

      "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

      by bewert on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:34:37 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Here's (none)
      a little ray of sunshine for you.

      And here's how anybody who can actually think the subject of torture through comes down on it, by somebody who can and has.

      Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      by justme on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:49:19 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  I'm just hoping and praying others see this (none)
        The pattern is undeniable. And truly scary.

        "Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter." Dr. ML King, from a jail cell in Birmingham, Alabama in 1963.

        by bewert on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:30:05 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  Scary, hell, (none)
          If Padilla goes through the SCOTUS, and I think we all know how Roberts will vote on that one, we're in full on "Then they came for me and there was no one left to speak out for me." mode.

          Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

          by justme on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:48:06 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

  •  This came to my attention (none)
    USCCB


    Department of Social Development and World Peace
    3211 FOURTH STREET NE * WASHINGTON DC 20017-1194 *

    October 4, 2005

    Dear Senator:

    On behalf of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, I urge you to support the McCain-Warner amendments numbers 1556 and 1557 to S. 1042, the FY 2006 Defense Authorization Act. The first amendment, number 1556, would prohibit cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment of persons under custody or control of the United States government. The second amendment, number 1557, would provide uniform standards for the interrogation of persons under detention of the Department of Defense.

    As events unfold in Afghanistan, Iraq and other places, we recognize that combating terrorism remains a top priority for Congress and the Administration. We also recognize, however, that the reported instances of prisoner abuse by members of the U.S. armed services could seriously
    undermine that effort and compromise human dignity.  We believe that a respect for the dignity of every person, ally or enemy, must serve as the foundation of the pursuit of security, justice and peace. There can be no compromise on the moral imperative to protect the basic human rights of any individual incarcerated for any reason.

    The United States has a long history of leadership and strong support for human rights around the world. Ratifications of the Convention on Civil and Political Rights and the Convention Against Torture embody our nation's commitment to establishing standards of conduct and prohibiting torture and other acts of inhumane treatment of persons in U.S. custody. Tragically, our nation's record has been marred by reported instances of abusive treatment of enemy combatants held in military prisons in Iraq, Afghanistan and Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. The lack of clarity regarding the procedures governing the treatment of prisoners makes it necessary to adopt more specific and stringent guidelines. The McCain-Warner amendments to the Defense Authorization Act would confirm our nation's resolve to ensure that these serious abuses cease and never recur.

    We share the concerns of lawmakers and citizens for the safety of U.S. soldiers and civilians abroad in these times of great uncertainty and danger. In the face of this perilous climate,our nation must not embrace a morality
    based on an attitude that "desperate times call for desperate measures" or "the end justifies the means." The inherent justice of our cause and the perceived necessities involved in confronting terrorism must not lead to a weakening or disregard of U.S. and international law.

    In a time of terrorism and great fear, our individual and collective obligations to respect basic human dignity and human rights, even of our worst enemies, gains added importance. The guidelines and mechanisms contained in these amendments reflect a conviction that our nation must treat our prisoners as we would expect
    our enemies to treat our own military personnel. Congress' adoption of these amendments would represent a significant step in restoring the moral credibility of the United States at a crucial time.

    Thank you for your consideration of our views on the just treatment of prisoners and detainees.

    Sincerely yours,

    Most Reverend John H. Ricard, S.S.J.
    Bishop of Pensacola-Tallahassee
    Chairman, Committee on International Policy

    "Mr. President, I'm not saying we wouldn't get our hair mussed." General Buck Turgidson

    by muledriver on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:23:19 PM PST

  •  Republican Party = crime syndicate (none)
    Cheney just is playing to the other regional bosses.

    America's government has become an unabashed and indifferent crime organization.

    "The fool doth think he is wise, but the wise man knows himself to be a fool." -- William Shakespeare, As You Like It

    by Eloi Scientist on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:27:23 PM PST

    •  I keep saying (none)
      we need a RICO act prosecution to clean up the Republican Party. Hell, put the Dems through the investigation too. If any of them are crooks, fry 'em too.

      Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      by justme on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:51:48 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  I think that's it. (none)
      He may have threatened the ones up for reelection by saying they'll run someone else against them if they don't play along. Or weasel them out of any funding for local projects.  And I guess they can always dig up some illegitimate babies when the need arises.

      Or, Christ, maybe he just went John Gotti on them and came out and said, "Don't fuck with me on this one, even if I go down, you're all coming with me."

      There have to be at least a handful of them that are wondering why they pledged allegiance to this band of crooks in the first place.

  •  Torture is a crime, plain and simple (none)
    under international law (including international treaties, such as the Convention against torture, to which the US is a party) and under US law.
    The prohibition against torture and cruel,inhuman and degrading treatment is a peremptory norm of international law (and is barred under the 6th amendment of the US Constitution)
    Neither the Senate + House, nor the President have it within their power to enact any legislation or issue any executive order or administrative regulation allowing for torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment.
    Legislators,cabinet officials and lower level administrators who provide legal cover for acts of torture and other ill-treatment are individually responsible for crimes and the US bears state responsibility opposable other states for any such conduct of its officials that engenders and act of torture.
    The point here is that we should not shy away from calling the likes of Sessions, Gonzalez, Woo, Addington, Cheney, Rumsefeld, Bush, et. al.
    by their proper appellation:  Criminals. plain and simple: Criminals.  This is not hyperbolic political rhetoric, but a neutral description of their proper legal status.

    "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

    by normal family on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:44:32 PM PST

    •  Grounds for impeachment. (none)
      Thanks for pointing out that Bush & Cheney have violated the 6th Amerndment of the U.S. Constitution.

      This is definitely grounds for impeachment!

      •  Could this be taken to the Supreme Court? (none)
        File a lawsuit against Bush & Cheney?

        Supremes couln't impeach Bush, but they could declare his policies unconstitutional.

        •  There are suits, ignored by the mainstream media (none)
          ACLU and Human Rights First Sue Defense Secretary Rumsfeld Over U.S. Torture Policies

          More on Ending Torture  
          WASHINGTON -- Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld bears direct responsibility for the torture and abuse of detainees in U.S. military custody, the American Civil Liberties Union and Human Rights First charged today in the first federal court lawsuit to name a top U.S. official in the ongoing torture scandal in Iraq and Afghanistan that has tarnished America's reputation.

          The lawsuit was filed in federal court in Illinois on behalf of eight men who were subject to torture and abuse at the hands of U.S. forces under Secretary Rumsfeld's command. The parties are seeking a court order declaring that Secretary Rumsfeld's actions violated the U.S. Constitution, federal statutes and international law.

          "Secretary Rumsfeld bears direct and ultimate responsibility for this descent into horror by personally authorizing unlawful interrogation techniques and by abdicating his legal duty to stop torture," said Lucas Guttentag, lead counsel in the lawsuit and director of the ACLU's Immigrants' Rights Project. "He gives lip service to being responsible but has not been held accountable for his actions. This lawsuit puts the blame where it belongs, on the Secretary of Defense."

          The groups are joined as co-counsel in the lawsuit by Rear Admiral John D. Hutson (Ret. USN), former Judge Advocate General of the Navy; Brigadier General James Cullen (Ret. USA), former Chief Judge (IMA) of the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals; and Bill Lann Lee, Chair of the Human Rights Practice Group at Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP and former Assistant Attorney General for Civil Rights at the Department of Justice. Admiral Hutson and General Cullen are "of counsel" to Human Rights First.

          "Since Abu Ghraib, we have vigorously campaigned for an independent commission to investigate U.S. policies that have led to torture and cruel treatment of detainees. These calls have gone unanswered by the administration and Congress, and today many of the illegal polices remain in place," said Michael Posner, Executive Director of Human Rights First. "We believed the United States could correct its policy without resort to the courts. In bringing this action today, we reluctantly conclude that we were wrong."

          The men represented in the lawsuit were incarcerated in U.S. detention facilities in Iraq and Afghanistan, where they were subjected to torture and other cruel and degrading treatment, including severe and repeated beatings, cutting with knives, sexual humiliation and assault, mock executions, death threats, and restraint in contorted and excruciating positions. None of the men were ever charged with a crime. All have been released.

          "One of the greatest strengths of the U.S. military throughout our history has been strong civilian leadership at the top of the chain of command," said Admiral Hutson. "Unfortunately, Secretary Rumsfeld has failed to live up to that tradition. In the end, that imperils our troops and undermines the war effort. It is critical that we return to another military tradition: accountability."

          In legal papers, the groups charged Secretary Rumsfeld with violations of the U.S. Constitution and international law prohibiting torture and cruel, inhuman or degrading punishment. The lawsuit also seeks compensatory damages for the harms suffered as a result of torture and other abuse.

          According to the complaint, Secretary Rumsfeld "authorized an abandonment of our nation's inviolable and deep-rooted prohibition against torture or other cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment of detainees in U.S. military custody." The complaint further charges that brutal and illegal interrogation techniques were personally approved by Secretary Rumsfeld in December 2002. Those techniques included the use of "stress positions," 20-hour interrogations, the removal of clothing, the use of dogs, isolation, and sensory deprivation.

          Although some of these techniques were later rescinded, Rumsfeld personally approved a new list in April 2003, which included dietary manipulation, sensory deprivation and "false flag" (leading detainees to believe that they have been transferred to a country that permits torture). He also made clear that harsher techniques could be used with his personal authorization.

          "Human rights law and military rules prohibit torture at all times and in every circumstance, a principle that applies to the highest commander as well as the lowest subordinate," said co-counsel Lee, the former Justice Department official.

          Official government reports have documented many horrific abuses inflicted on detainees in U.S. custody. They have shown that the abuse was ongoing and was not limited to the notorious Abu Ghraib prison. The ACLU and other advocacy groups have obtained over 23,000 pages of documents concerning abuses through a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, online at www.aclu.org/torturefoia. As these documents indicate, the FBI began to complain about the interrogation techniques used by the military on detainees in Guantánamo as early as 2002, techniques that spread to Afghanistan and Iraq. Media reports have also brought many disturbing incidents to light, including the deaths of detainees in custody.

          The ACLU and Human Rights First have created a detailed timeline of the various actions that Secretary Rumsfeld took and the points at which he was informed of the abuses that resulted, online at www.aclu.org/rumsfeld and www.humanrightsfirst.org/lawsuit.

          "The effects of Rumsfeld's policies have been devastating both to America's international reputation as a beacon of freedom and democracy, and to the hundreds, even thousands of individuals who have suffered at the hands of U.S. forces," said ACLU Executive Director Anthony D. Romero.

          Details about the clients in the case can be found in the legal complaint and in individual biographical statements online at www.aclu.org/rumsfeld and www.humanrightsfirst.org/lawsuit. Due to safety and privacy concerns, the individuals named in the complaint are not currently available for interview

          "No one else could ever be admitted here, since this gate was made only for you. I am now going to shut it."- Franz Kafka, "Before the Law"

          by normal family on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 04:58:25 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

    •  Yes, (4.00)
      but I think it's more about Article VI than the 6th amendment.

      Article. VI.

      All Debts contracted and Engagements entered into, before the Adoption of this Constitution, shall be as valid against the United States under this Constitution, as under the Confederation.

      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, any Thing in the Constitution or Laws of any State to the Contrary notwithstanding.

      The Senators and Representatives before mentioned, and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial Officers, both of the United States and of the several States, shall be bound by Oath or Affirmation, to support this Constitution; but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States.

      It is obvious from reading the above that executive branch officers, like the Pres and VP, are bound to uphold the law of the land, and that that law not only includes, but is defined by treaties we have made. Just saying that Geneva and the Convention against torture are moot doesn't make it so. This is what's behind the GOP's whole problem with "Foreign law". They don't want to have to abide by treaties. Hell, they don't want to have to abide by any laws.
      This now goes to the nature of "High Crimes". I read a very nice treatise yesterday that I cannot now find. It said, historically speaking, High Crimes were crimes committed by those of position, which offend the position itself. Much like how officers are expected to treat their subordinates fairly, as defined in the UCMJ, so our elected leaders are supposed to carry out their duties with a certain amount of class. A high crime is a crime against the Oath. It need not even be behavior discussed in the criminal codes.
      From an article by someone I try not to even think about, but she has some good points. Ca.1998.


      For more than six hundred years, "high crimes and misdemeanors" has referred exclusively to conduct requiring impeachment.

      Some history: The Framers borrowed the phrase from Britain, where it was first used in connection with an impeachment in 1380. There were several instances of its use during the colonial period: in 1666 Viscount John Mordaunt was impeached for the high crime and misdemeanor of making uncivil addresses to a woman; in 1680 Sir William Scroggs, lord chief justice of the King's Bench, was impeached on account of "his frequent and notorious excesses and debaucheries," bringing "the highest scandal on the public justice of the kingdom";

      Having just fought a war to get rid of a king, the framers had "the perfidity of the chief magistrate" clearly in their sights when they included broad grounds for impeachment. They discussed the Constitution's impeachment power in terms of removing a President who "misbehaves" or "behave[s] amiss," as two of the delegates put it. Madison wrote that impeachment was meant to remove Presidents for "incapacity, negligence, or perfidity."

      WHAT does such presidential misconduct look like? We, of course, have a recent template.


      "The problem is not Watergate or the cover-up," Pat Buchanan told Julie Nixon. "It's that he hasn't been telling the truth to the American people. . . . The tape makes it evident that he hasn't leveled with the country for probably eighteen months. And the President can't lead a country he has deliberately misled for a year and a half."

      Incapacity? Maybe. Negligence? Yup. Perfidity? I'll take it as an odds on favorite.
      Me? I'd say Cheney, and Bush by extention, has acted badly enough. The problem is, I'm not a Congressman.

      Amendment IX: The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.

      by justme on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:56:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  See Dick Lie. Lie, Dick, Lie. (none)
    Dick sez:
    Cheney told his audience the United States doesn't engage in torture, these participants added, even though he said the administration needed an exemption from any legislation banning "cruel, inhuman or degrading" treatment in case the president decided one was necessary to prevent a terrorist attack.

    I believe that. You believe that, don't you?

    "The United States doesn't engage in torture (displaying torn out liver of recent prisoner) -- see, this organ never failed!"

  •  I'm taking bets (none)
    on how long it will take McCain to cave.

    Hell, he's bent over forwards for BushCo on absolutely everything else . . .

  •  What would Captain America Do? (none)
    It may seem simplistic but, I read comics as a kid and learned early that heroes don't compromises values of what is right and wrong.

    I get really pissed when I hear the argument made that we NEED to torture these "terrorists" to get valuable information, although as far as I know none has been convicted or even indicted as a terrorist.  As if anything gained was worth becoming, what the United States is supposed to defend against.  To think that we MUST torture, the alternative has been offered that we may lose this war if we do not. (William Barr)  Well all I can say is who is a weakwilled non-faithful pussy now.  

    America is an idea, one born of freedom and justice and equal rights for all even the devil, if the asshole decided to show up here, thats the way it works.  So for any evil torture loving fuck to say that for America to survive we must torture our enemies for any information they have is to say they have no faith, respect or love for the America they claim to be fighting to protect.

    "There is never time to do it right but always time to do it over." George W. Bush the do-over president.

    by DeadB0y on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 05:42:58 PM PST

  •  Fuck Jeff Sessions, Fuck Dickhead Cheney.. (none)
    ..and the fascist horses they rode in on.
  •  SFgate.com has the story in AP headlines... (none)
    at least my beloved San Francisco has a paper/website that will cover this stuff...

    Other than that, I'm sick about this. How the religous right can embrace an administration who day in and day out callously disregards the teachings of Jesus Christ is so far beyond my comprehension it makes me sad....

    "We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools" -- Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    by JayIsConfused on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:08:09 PM PST

  •  SO (none)
    Who's willing to take a day off work in order to make a powerful statement against this complete and utter BULLSHIT?  If you're not willing to do that, then fuck you, you lazy Internet addict.  

    In every stage of these Oppressions...: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated Injury." DoI, TJ

    by ChuckLin on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 06:25:17 PM PST

  •  current online poll on torture (none)
    Look here, encouraging news:  

    67% of Americans in this poll are opposed to prisoner abuse:

    http://cnn.netscape.cnn.com/...

    Does U.S government have the right to abuse prisoners taken in Afghanistan and Iraq?

    No, it's immorally wrong and ill minded. 42%

    Yes, anything may go after 9/11. 27%

    No, it will ruin credibility and public image of the U.S. 25%

    Yes, what I don't know won't hurt me. 6%

  •  Closed Doors (none)
    The idea that for some reason Cheney's pow-wow with the GOP senators had to be behind closed doors, without even aides present - who falls for that?

    I think it's ridiculous.

    These kinds of discussions must be open, and fully reported to all Americans.  These elected officials are acting in our name, for god's sake!

    Such dark plotting will not survive the light of day.

    General Strike  - December 7.

  •  This abomination can still be stopped (none)
    The House of Representatives has yet to consider a McCain-style amendment.  Cheney must not succeed in convincing them to avoid this issue.  The House may vote on this next week.  

    Let your congressperosn know that you will not stand for torture.  It is preposterous and obscene that we even have to discuss this issue:

    http://www.congress.org/...

    "I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it." -- Voltaire

    by WaitingForLefty on Fri Nov 04, 2005 at 08:55:22 PM PST

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