Rigging Justice

Cheney, others OK’d harsh interrogations – Yahoo! News:

“Bush administration officials from Vice President Dick Cheney on down signed off on using harsh interrogation techniques against suspected terrorists after asking the Justice Department to endorse their legality, The Associated Press has learned.
The officials also took care to insulate President Bush from a series of meetings where CIA interrogation methods, including waterboarding, which simulates drowning, were discussed and ultimately approved.”

(Via Yahoo! News.)

I actually saw this on The West Wing. General would fall on his sword if Bartlett’s assassination of a terrorist is found out. Great drama, but highly disturbing in real life. It’s always easy to go along when they aren’t coming for you. That’s why we have to stand up against torture regardless of whose the target. Even if you have no morals whatsoever the poem First they came… provides good enough reason to do so. Ashcroft’s quote at the end of the story is great.

“Why are we talking about this in the White House?” the network quoted Ashcroft as saying during one meeting. “History will not judge this kindly.”

Tapes’ Destruction Hovers Over Detainee Cases – New York Times

Tapes’ Destruction Hovers Over Detainee Cases – New York Times:

“‘They thought they were saving themselves from legal scrutiny, as well as possible danger from Al Qaeda if the tapes became public,’ said Frederick P. Hitz, a former C.I.A. officer and the agency’s inspector general from 1990 to 1998, speaking of agency officials who favored eliminating the tapes. ‘Unknowingly, perhaps, they may have created even more problems for themselves.’”

(Via The NY Times.)

You don’t beat the lawless by becoming like them.

Why We Shouldn’t Torture Lite

Thursday, Mar. 13, 2008 – Quotes of the Day – TIME:

“‘Stop exercising double standards on human rights issues and wrongly meddling in the internal affairs of other countries.’
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman, accusing the U.S. of double standards over human rights in response to a U.S. report labeling Beijing an authoritarian regime.

While I’m not given to facile comments about torture, this quote hit me. It reminds me why when we play word games and parse our way to activities like waterboarding, we still lose.

(Via Time.)