Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Torturer In Chief


It's true that it has been widely assumed and occasionally reported that the CIA's use of brutal interrogation techniques could be traced back to the White House on a general level. But it was most definitely new last week when ABC News reported that a group of Bush's top aides, including Vice President Cheney, took part in meetings where they explicitly discussed and approved -- literally blow by blow -- tactics such as waterboarding. And while Bush has previously defended these tactics -- vaguely, and insisting against all evidence that they did not amount to torture -- he had not, until now, acknowledged that he personally OK'd them beforehand.

If you consider what the government did to be torture, which is a crime according to U.S. and international law, Bush's statement shifts his role from being an accessory after the fact to being part of a conspiracy to commit.

This is certainly no surprise. And I don't think it's really new news. And of course the American media didn't think that the open admission by the Preznit of the United States of having committed a crime was newsworthy. But it is a legal admission of wrongdoing. And if the U.S. won't prosecute, I think there are any number of other countries that would gladly prosecute.

Remember when Israel went around the world capturing Nazi war criminals? So what if some Iraqi's or other Arabs come to the U.S. to capture, oh say, Donald Rumsfeld? Can any top Bush administration officials ever safely travel abroad? Or is it a situation of stark hypocrisy where the mighty get a pass?

Go give the entire Froomkin post a read. Once again it highlights the fantastic job that's being done (almost single-handedly) by Martha Raddatz of ABC News.

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