Thursday, April 05, 2012
No, the torture issue isn't going awayIt's too big and the implications are too far-reaching for it to go away before there's a real reckoning. As in, people going to jail for ordering and implementing torture, unambiguous official condemnations of the practice, and US laws written to specify that they apply no matter how some crooked torture lawyer in the Justice Department or the White House may want to interpret them.
Spencer Ackerman does some journalism in CIA Committed 'War Crimes,' Bush Official Says Danger Room 04/04/2012.
The short version is that State Department advisor "counselor" Philip Zelikow wrote to his boss Condi-Condi and told her clearly that the US was practicing criminal torture and that it wasn't aimed at getting useful intelligence but at producing propaganda. He provides a copy of the six-page memo of 02/15/2006 at links in his article. He also interviewed Zelikow for the piece:
Zelikow’s warnings about the legal dangers of torture went unheeded — not just by the Bush administration, which ignored them, but, ironically, by the Obama administration, which effectively refuted them. In June, the Justice Department concluded an extensive inquiry into CIA torture by dropping potential charges against agency interrogators in 99 out of 101 cases of detainee abuse. That inquiry did not examine criminal complicity for senior Bush administration officials who designed the torture regimen and ordered agency interrogators to implement it.The torture issue isn't going away.
Marcy Wheeler's well-informed analysis in Philip Zelikow Saves Condi Rice’s Hiney (Again) Emptywheel 04/04/2012: "Philip Zelikow did really important work fighting the Bush Administration’s efforts to defy international obligations on torture. But the written record, at least, shows that he was fighting, in part, against the negligence of his boss, Condi Rice."
Marcy does what good investigative reporters do: she spends a lot of time carefully reviewing the contents of relevant documents and relating them to each other.
Charlie Pierce's thoughts on it in Democracy On A Waterboard Esquire Politics Blog 04/04/2012: The Zelikow memo "It blows up (yet again) the standard Bush Administration alibi that they thought they could do whatever they wanted to whomever they wanted because their pet DOJ lawyers told them it was OK, and also because, you know, 9/11!".
Tags: accountability for torture, bush administration, torture
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No subject for immortal verse
That we who lived by honest dreams
Defend the bad against the worse."
-- Cecil Day-Lewis from Where Are The War Poets?
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