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Four Color Politics

Mainly the Quotes of the Morning, with occasional Other Crap.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Quotes of the Morning: Already There

“President Bush on Monday vigorously defended U.S. interrogation of suspected terrorists after the public disclosure of secret CIA prisoner camps in eastern European countries. ‘We do not torture,’ he declared.
‘There's an enemy that lurks and plots and plans and wants to hurt America again,' Bush said. ‘So you bet we will aggressively pursue them but we will do so under the law.’”
-Associated Press, November 7, 2005

“Good. Not just because we are signatories of the Geneva Conventions, and thus per the Constitution (which make treaties signed the law of the land) we aren’t legally allowed to torture, but also because its wrong. Just wrong. You’d have thought that an administration that spends so much time calling their enemies ‘evil’ would have a good grip of right and wrong.”

“Over White House opposition, the Senate has passed legislation banning torture. With Vice President Dick Cheney as the point man, the administration is seeking an exemption for the CIA. It was recently disclosed that the agency maintains a network of prisons in eastern Europe and Asia, where it holds terrorist suspects.
The European Union is investigating the reports, which have not been confirmed by the White House.
‘Our country is at war and our government has the obligation to protect the American people,’ Bush said. ‘Any activity we conduct is within the law. We do not torture.’”
-Associated Press, November 7, 2005

“The part about ‘is within the law’ makes me nervous. Remember this?”

“Gonzales and the administration began articulating a radical new legal theory shortly after Sept. 11, which they set forth in public statements, internal memos, and eventually in arguments to the federal courts. It was the theory behind the argument that the president could, of his own authority, order any U.S. citizen arrested and detained indefinitely without access to counsel or a day in court. It was also behind the position that the United States could hold foreign nationals at Guantanamo Bay indefinitely, not protected by U.S. law or the laws of war. And it undergirded the justice department's view that government officials may be immune to prosecution for torture or other unlawful conduct if they were acting according to the president's power as commander in chief. The idea is that law is in significant respects inconsistent with the power needed to fight terrorism. And in situations involving security, law, whether it constrains executive power or protects individual rights, should be replaced with trust in the president's prudence, policy, and self-restraint.”
-The American Prospect, November 23, 2004

“You see, per Gonzales, if the President does it it is ‘within the law’ no matter what it is, and if it is within the law, it can’t be torture, because torture is not within the law. Remember when the worst thing we had to worry about was whether or not ‘oral sex’ was technically ‘sex’. God I wish we still lived in those far-away times.”

“In an important clarification of President George W. Bush's earlier statement, a top White House official refused to unequivocally rule out the use of torture, arguing the US administration was duty-bound to protect Americans from terrorist attack.
The comment, by US national security adviser Stephen Hadley, came amid heated national debate about whether the CIA and other US intelligence agencies should be authorized to use what is being referred to as ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ to extract from terror suspects information that may help prevent future assaults.
The US Senate voted 90-9 early last month to attach an amendment authored by Republican Senator John McCain to a defense spending bill that would prohibit ‘cruel, inhuman or degrading’ treatment of detainees in US custody. But the White House has threatened to veto the measure and has lobbied senators to have the language removed or modified to allow an exemption for the Central Intelligence Agency.”
-AFP, November 13, 2005

“Republican Senator Kit Bond, a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee, told Newsweek magazine that ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ had worked with at least one captured high-level Al-Qaeda operative, Khalid Shaikh Mohammed, to thwart an unspecified plot.”
-AFP, November 13, 2005

“CIA interrogators apparently tried to cover up the death of an Iraqi ‘ghost detainee’ who died while being interrogated at Abu Ghraib prison, Time magazine reported today, after obtaining hundreds of pages of documents, including an autopsy report, about the case. The death of secret detainee Manadel al-Jamadi was ruled a homicide in a Defense Department autopsy, Time reported, adding that documents it recently obtained included photographs of his battered body, which had been kept on ice to keep it from decomposing, apparently to conceal the circumstances of his death.
Photos of grinning US soldiers crouching over Jamadi's corpse were among the disturbing images that emerged from the Abu Ghraib prison scandal in 2004, prompting international outrage and internal US military investigations.”
-Forbes.com (AFX News), November 13, 2005

“My body is cut and broken
It's shattered and sore
My body is cut wide open
I can't stand anymore
It tortures me to move my hands
To try to move at all
And pulled
My skin so tight it screams
And screams and screams
And screams for more

Hanging like this
Like a vampire bat
Hanging like this
Hanging on your back
Oh it's torture
And I'm almost there
It's torture
But I'm almost there

It's torture
But I'm almost there
It's torture
And I’m already there...”
-The Cure, Torture


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