Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Another speech, more lies.

Boy, these new series of speeches by W. are getting weirder and weirder. Today, he admited that the administration has been holding al-Qaeda suspects in CIA 'black prisons,' something he's been denying all along. [AP] By the way, isn't the Justice Department investigating the WaPo for leaking that story?

Anyway, W. went on at some length about all the plots that have been thwarted because of the CIA's "alternative set of procedures" which they use to make these guys canary, citing what I guess was previously classified information. No word on who OK'd the de-classification of these national secrets, but it there's never any quams in this administration about leaking secrets when there's an election coming up or an administration enemy to skewer.

After dropping the bombshell that we've been holding suspects in secret prisons, he said he wanted the 9/11 families to know that these terrorists were finally getting moved to Gitmo and would be tried as soon as Congress rubber stamped his military tribunals. Of course, the problem with that is that Congress is unlikely to pass the bill W. wants. Such a law would have to sanction allowing secret evidence, excluding the defendant from his own trial and the entering in of testimony extracted by torture. (There's that word again, I mean that CIA "alternative set of procedures.") Senator Lindsay Graham for one has said that's not going to fly.

I like how W. put in the little plug for himself saying that he signed the "Detainee Treatment Act," but forgot to mention that he basically imascalated the entire law with his signing statement. Another thing W. wants is for the Congress to pass a law that gives imunity to those who have used harsh techniques to get information. You see, he's very worried about all those American military and CIA personel who by just doing their duty might be brought up on war crimes charges. Not that he's got anyone higher up in his administration in mind. Not like Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales or David Addington or anyone else who authorized interogation techniques that clearly violate US and international law. Oh no, no, it's all about looking after the little guy just doing his job.

[Note: Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales made a "surprise visit" to Iraq last week and gave the Iraqis the green light for "extraordinary measures" to fight their war on terror. Remember, if anyone would know about what we've been up to and what the Iraqis could learn from us, it's Gonzales. The LA Times reported that he had " acknowledged taking part in a meeting in which participants discussed the legality of interrogation techniques, including the threat of live burial and simulating the sensation of drowning."]

What really mystified me about the whole thing was when W. said that these 14 senior al-Qaeda types who are now at Gitmo would be treated as if they were innocent until proven guilty. Didn't he just spend the first half of his speech highlighting in much detail all the crimes that they commited? He didn't say they were "alleged" to have done these things, like plan 9/11; he said they did it. Not that he really meant they'd get a fair trial anyway, that's just for the suckers.

I hope the families of the 9/11 victims along with finally getting justice from these suspects also appreciate that its taken this administration five years to get around to doing anything at all about these guys. Sure they've used 9/11 to justify every breech of the law they've commited and started a war in the name of 9/11 but they haven't actually punished those responsible or even captured the one man really behind the attacks. You know, OBL.

An extra note:

One of the 14 "worst of the worst" being transfered to Gitmo is Abu Zabaydah, who W. once called "one of the top opratives plotting and planning death and destruction on the United States."

Ron Susskind his new book "the One Percent Doctrine" writes that Zubaydagh was mentally ill yet he was tortured none the less.

From Think Progress:

"Bush 'was fixated on how to get Zubaydah to tell us the truth," Suskind writes. He asked one briefer, 'do some of these harsh methods really work? Interrogators did their best to find out, Suskind reports. They strapped Abu Zubaydah to a water-board, which reproduces the agony of drowning. They threatened him with certain death. They withheld medication. They bombarded him with deafening noise and harsh lights, depriving him of sleep.

Under that duress, he began to speak of plots of every variety -- against shopping malls, banks, supermarkets, water systems, nuclear plants, apartment buildings, the Brooklyn Bridge, the Statue of Liberty. With each new tale, 'thousands of uniformed men and women raced in a panic to each. . . target.” And so, Suskind writes, 'the United States would torture a mentally disturbed man and then leap, screaming, at every word he uttered.'"


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