Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Deception by Treason

An absolutely breathtaking piece of news has just surfaced which shows that the Justice Department and in particular, Alberto Gonzalez was actually drawing up a memorandum in 2005, in which the guidelines for interrogating people included subjecting prisoners to painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures at the same time as Congress was moving to disallow “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment.

The Times article claims that the memorandum was kept secret from almost all lawmakers and that it stated that none of C.I.A. interrogation methods violated the standard set by the Congressional motion. However if one remembers correctly, the Deputy Attorney general James B. Comey resigned after repeatedly coming to verbal blows with the White House about, amongst other things, the inexcusable interpretation of the law by the Bush Administration regarding the treatment of prisoners. From the article:

Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

To refresh our memories: John Yoo originally penned the first “Torture Memo,” as it became known which basically said it didn’t matter what one did to a prisoner as long as the man was alive at the end of it. Yoo, who was called ‘Dr. Yes’ by none other than John Ashcroft for his willingness to do whatever the Bush Administration requested of him, eventually left the Justice Department after the memo was leaked. The Justice Department under John Ashcroft eventually started bucking and would not simply accept any form of mistreatment of terror suspects without clearly defining the rules. For example, if keeping a prisoner at a very cold temperature was one accepted method and depriving the man also of rest was another, was it permissible also to combine the two?

The United States Supreme Court ruled unequivocally that the Geneva Conventions applied to members of terrorist organizations just as they did to a normal soldier. This led to the Bush Administration admitting to having shipped suspected criminals overseas in what was referred to as “Special rendition” and the CIA stopped its program of waterboarding prisoners. Later however, a new Executive order was signed allowing for so-called “Enhanced Interrogation Techniques.” In normal speak we are talking again about torture.

To counteract the resistance within the Justice Department, Bush needed to have someone in there he could trust. Someone who would toe the line; enter, Alberto Gonzales. Gonzales effectively transformed the Justice Department into a Neocon circus and turned it into a laughing stock. Gonzales and his minions were soon able to press an embattled Comey out of the Justice Department and with Comey gone, they had free reign. Thus they managed by a series of backhanded comments, to present Congress with the impression that there was movement to ban torture whilst simultaneously ensuring the ability of interrogators to continue to use the very techniques that they were pretending to outlaw.

It’s an unfathomable display of disrespect of Congress and the American people and is the absolute epitome of treasonous conduct.

No comments: