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Underhanded and Secret Approval of Psychological Abuse and Torture as Reliable Interrogation/Official Tactics

Friday, Oct. 05, 2007 4:00 AM

For those of you just joining us, let's recap:

- In December, 2004, the Justice Department publishes a legal opinion calling torture 'abhorrent.'

- Shortly after Alberto Gonzales' confirmation as Attorney General in 2005, a new legal opinion is issued, giving explicit authorization to extreme physical and psychological tactics, including waterboarding.

- Later that year, Congress moved to restrict 'cruel, inhuman, and degrading' treatment of prisoners.

Now comes the story of how the Justice Department issued a third document (signed by Steven G. Bradbury, now head of the Office of Legal Counsel at Justice), a secret approval of interrogation tactics used thus far, asserting that all were within the law and did not violate the guidelines above.

So, despite the Bush Administration waxing poetic about how they do not condone torture, they have, in fact, established and approved procedures that qualify as such.

It's all about protecting America against another 9/11, says White House Spokesperson Dana Perino. But the truth is that we have never obtained useful information from those in our custody. Years of touting Ramzi bin al-Shibh and Abu Zubaydah as key figures yielded nothing, with the last of al-Shibh's 'tips' finally being discerned as a case of telling us what we want to hear. (And that doesn't even touch upon the improbability of a terrorist, even a high-ranking cell member, having actionable information after years in American custody. I'd change all the codes and either dump or immediately execute any plans with which that person had been involved.)

The only thing we've done is sell our principles short and replace them with the empty assurances far more common to those we call our enemies.

Gee, do you think lying to the American public, concealing torture, and blatantly defying federal law qualifies as grounds for impeachment? (And, no, I don't just blog about it - calls were placed to Speaker Pelosi, Majority Leader Reid, Senator Boxer, and Congressman George Miller. I left out Feinstein as she voted to confirm Gonzales.)

After a judge declined Senator Larry Craig's motion to withdraw/change his guilty plea, Craig has decided to withdraw his resignation as well.

Nice to know that your word is worth something, Senator.

Presidential Wisdom Du Jour:

"My job is a decision-making job. And as a result, I make a lot of decisions."

In my experience, the folks who have to remind you that they make important decisions all the time aren't doing much of anything, and the decisions they do make aren't good ones.

Chris Matthews, host of MSNBC's Hardball, fired off an as-yet unsubstantiated charge that the White House, or more specifically, the office of Vice-President Dick Cheney, has tried to silence him by way of pressuring MSNBC management.

Ann Coulter, proving her tongue runs faster than her brain, attests, "If we took away women�s right to vote, we�d never have to worry about another Democrat president. It�s kind of a pipe dream, it�s a personal fantasy of mine, but I don�t think it�s going to happen."

And in this little utopia, Ann, what would you be doing? If you don't hold the vote, what possible relevance could your opinions have?

Senator Barack Obama is sure to draw fire for his latest play - he's decided that he won't wear the very common lapel pin of the American flag. Obama says it's one's actions, and not what one wears on their lapel, that demonstrates patriotism.

The Ministry has received 1 comment(s) on this topic.

Brin - 2007-10-05 08:58:38
Ann Coulter is a high-iron creationist be-atch. Nothing more, and nothing less. I quit cutting her any slack when she brought up the Edwards family tragedy and used it to hurt the family.