Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Tortured Record of Bush II Torture Policy

Camp Sicko
The Senate Armed Services Committee, chaired by Carl Levin on which John McCain is the ranking republican member, today released its final report entitled INQUIRY INTO THE TREATMENT OF DETAINEES IN U.S. CUSTODY (hereinafter referred to as "Inquiry").

The link above is to the unclassified report in PDF format, and is about 15 megabytes in size.

The Inquiry covers the very beginning of the tortured torture episode of the Bush II regime:
From the time of their ratification until the invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, the United States government had accepted the terms of the Geneva Conventions and the U.S. military had trained its personnel to apply the Conventions during wartime.
(Inquiry, page 1). But then "along came Jones" says the song, and in this case "Jones" was the lawyers:
Soon after the launch of Operation Enduring Freedom (OEF), however, Administration lawyers constructed a new legal framework that abandoned the traditional U.S. application of the Geneva Conventions.
(Inquiry, page 1, emphasis added). The Geneva Conventions were and are our law, because treaties become our law upon their ratification by 2/3 of congress and signature by the president.

One wonders, then, if these lawyers were of the same ilk and background as those who turned the DOJ into the Department of Just Us? On with this tortured story:
According to Jack Goldsmith, Special Counsel in the Department of Defense (2002-2003) and Assistant Attorney General, Office of Legal Counsel (2003-2004): "never in the history of the United States had lawyers had such extraordinary influence over war policies as they did after 9/11. The lawyers weren't necessarily expert on al Qaeda, or Islamic fundamentalism, or intelligence, or international diplomacy, or even the requirements of national security. But the lawyers --- especially White House and Justice Department lawyers - seemed to 'own' issues that had profound national security and political and diplomatic consequences." These Administration lawyers "dominated discussions on detention, military commissions, interrogation, GTMO, and many other controversial terrorism policies." Jack Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency: Law and Judgment Inside the Bush Administration (New York: W.w. Norton & Company 2(07) at 130-31 (hereinafter "Goldsmith, The Terror Presidency").
(Inquiry, page 1, footnote 1, emphasis added). Damn the experts, damn American tradition and law, damn reality, full speed backwards is the way I interpret their mindset.

Those who forget the wisdom of history and who forget the toxins within power will always become corrupt, no matter what fancy clubs they may belong to.

Evidently the CIA lawyer who helped the Bush II lawyers draw up torture-is-ok documents still works at the CIA.

Obama, this Panetta guy you appointed to head CIA has got to look up from his desk and smell the stench and get rid of it.

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