Friday, October 05, 2007

The new torture paradigm

NYT reported yesterday that after the administration denounced torture as "abhorrent" in Dec. 2004 -- after the secret torture memo Alberto "waterboard" Gonzales cooked up for W. as White House counsel was leaked to the NYT -- one of the first things Gonzales did on taking the office of Attorney General was issue a new secret opinion saying torture was actually A-OK.

The NYT:

"The new opinion . . . for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on 'combined effects' over the objections of James B. Comey the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be 'ashamed' when the world eventually learned of it."

Well, we've now learned of it but I'm not sure many of his colleagues still working at the DoJ are ashamed at all. Especially not the new head of the Office of Legal Counsel, Steven G. Bradbury, who has apparently distinguished himself as a loyal toady for Cheney and his shadowy Rasputin, David Addington. He's been there since 2005, which is lot longer than Jack Goldsmith who was not a loyal bushie at all and therefore had to go.

John McCain might have been one of the "appropriate members" of Congress who was briefed on this new torture ruling but he was just lied to. McCain says, he was "personally assured by administration officials that at least one of the techniques allegedly used in the past, waterboarding, was prohibited under the new law." [The face slapping and cold temps thing, I guess, is not such a big deal to him]

So basically, the administration did yet another end round all the checks and balances and now that they've been caught, they're justifying the whole thing but saying, as W. did (they all use the same talking points), "We have gotten information from these high-value detainees that have helped protect you."

I feel a lot better knowing the president and his men routinely flaunt the law, secretly make up laws to allow them to torture people and justs for fun lock up Americans in military brigs without charges or evidence for years on end. All in the name of protecting us.

Question is: Who is going to protect us from our own government?


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