June 09, 2004

According to copies leaked to several newspapers, they lay out a shocking and immoral set of justifications for torture.

When the network news organizations have finished
shooting their "All Reagan All the Time" wad and the
"Gipper Grease" is spent, the cesspool created in the
four years of this illegitimate, corrupt and
incompetent regime (i.e. the Bush abmonination) will
still be overflowing...drip, drip, drip...Job loss,
the Federal deficit, Enron and the phoney "California
energy crisis," Medifraud, the prostitution of the
EPA...drip, drip, drip...830+ dead US soldiers,
thousands of US soldiers maimed for life drip, drip,
drip...Niger cake and other WMD lies, Chalabi,
Halliburton, Plame, Abu Ghraib...drip, drip, drip...

Washington Post: This week, thanks again to an
independent press, we have begun to learn the deeply
disturbing truth about the legal opinions that the
Pentagon and the Justice Department seek to keep
secret. According to copies leaked to several newspapers, they lay out a shocking and immoral set of justifications for torture. In a paper prepared last
year under the direction of the Defense Department's
chief counsel, and first disclosed by the Wall Street
Journal, the president of the United States was
declared empowered to disregard U.S. and international
law and order the torture of foreign prisoners.
Moreover, interrogators following the president's
orders were declared immune from punishment. Torture
itself was narrowly redefined, so that techniques that
inflict pain and mental suffering could be deemed
legal. All this was done as a prelude to the
designation of 24 interrogation methods for foreign
prisoners -- the same techniques, now in use, that
President Bush says are humane but refuses to
disclose.

Support Our Troops, Show Up for Democracy in 2004: Defeat Bush (again!)

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A26602-2004Jun8.html

washingtonpost.com
Legalizing Torture


Wednesday, June 9, 2004; Page A20


THE BUSH administration assures the country, and the
world, that it is complying with U.S. and
international laws banning torture and maltreatment of
prisoners. But, breaking with a practice of openness
that had lasted for decades, it has classified as
secret and refused to disclose the techniques of
interrogation it is using on foreign detainees at U.S.
prisons at Guantanamo Bay and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
This is a matter of grave concern because the use of
some of the methods that have been reported in the
press is regarded by independent experts as well as
some of the Pentagon's legal professionals as illegal.
The administration has responded that its civilian
lawyers have certified its methods as proper -- but it
has refused to disclose, or even provide to Congress,
the justifying opinions and memos.

This week, thanks again to an independent press, we
have begun to learn the deeply disturbing truth about
the legal opinions that the Pentagon and the Justice
Department seek to keep secret. According to copies
leaked to several newspapers, they lay out a shocking
and immoral set of justifications for torture. In a
paper prepared last year under the direction of the
Defense Department's chief counsel, and first
disclosed by the Wall Street Journal, the president of
the United States was declared empowered to disregard
U.S. and international law and order the torture of
foreign prisoners. Moreover, interrogators following
the president's orders were declared immune from
punishment. Torture itself was narrowly redefined, so
that techniques that inflict pain and mental suffering
could be deemed legal. All this was done as a prelude
to the designation of 24 interrogation methods for
foreign prisoners -- the same techniques, now in use,
that President Bush says are humane but refuses to
disclose.

There is no justification, legal or moral, for the
judgments made by Mr. Bush's political appointees at
the Justice and Defense departments. Theirs is the
logic of criminal regimes, of dictatorships around the
world that sanction torture on grounds of "national
security." For decades the U.S. government has waged
diplomatic campaigns against such outlaw governments
-- from the military juntas in Argentina and Chile to
the current autocracies in Islamic countries such as
Algeria and Uzbekistan -- that claim torture is
justified when used to combat terrorism. The news that
serving U.S. officials have officially endorsed
principles once advanced by Augusto Pinochet brings
shame on American democracy -- even if it is true, as
the administration maintains, that its theories have
not been put into practice. Even on paper, the
administration's reasoning will provide a ready excuse
for dictators, especially those allied with the Bush
administration, to go on torturing and killing
detainees.

Perhaps the president's lawyers have no interest in
the global impact of their policies -- but they should
be concerned about the treatment of American
servicemen and civilians in foreign countries. Before
the Bush administration took office, the Army's
interrogation procedures -- which were unclassified --
established this simple and sensible test: No
technique should be used that, if used by an enemy on
an American, would be regarded as a violation of U.S.
or international law. Now, imagine that a hostile
government were to force an American to take drugs or
endure severe mental stress that fell just short of
producing irreversible damage; or pain a little milder
than that of "organ failure, impairment of bodily
function, or even death." What if the foreign
interrogator of an American "knows that severe pain
will result from his actions" but proceeds because
causing such pain is not his main objective? What if a
foreign leader were to decide that the torture of an
American was needed to protect his country's security?
Would Americans regard that as legal, or morally
acceptable? According to the Bush administration, they
should.

2004 The Washington Post Company

Posted by richard at June 9, 2004 12:07 PM