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Bush seems to have endorsed Abu Ghraib in broad principle.... [View All]

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LittleApple81 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Fri Jun-18-04 12:11 PM
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Bush seems to have endorsed Abu Ghraib in broad principle....
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Edited on Fri Jun-18-04 12:24 PM by LittleApple81
Hiding the gulag
Things have gotten so bad, the Bush administration is lying even to its own lawyers

AS THE PRISONER-abuse scandal in Iraq spirals out of control, its all too easy to forget that just last month, the Supreme Court heard three cases concerning the rights of "enemy combatants" being held at Guantnamo Bay, Cuba, and in US Naval brigs off the American coast. One issue at stake in these cases is whether the government specifically President Bush should be trusted to handle prisoners in an appropriate manner. We now know, of course, that top military officials knew of the Abu Ghraib prisoner abuse at least as early as January. And evidence is mounting that the abuse was not, as Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld claims, merely carried out by a few "bad apples," but the result of secret directives approved by high-level military and CIA officials. Yet last month, in oral arguments before the Supreme Court, government lawyers from the Justice Departments Office of the Solicitor General (OSG) seeking to persuade the court to back off and let the administration run the war on terrorism as it sees fit solemnly assured the justices that such things were not happening at US-run detention centers.

So what gives? Did the deputy solicitor general deceive the court? Probably not. Most likely, defense officials deliberately hid knowledge of torture and prisoner abuse from the governments own lawyers. Most likely, defense officials did everything in their power to prevent news of the Abu Ghraib investigation from reaching the justices who, after all, were being asked to give the president carte blanche to hold prisoners indefinitely, incommunicado, and without interference from the courts. Fortunately, this maneuver was thwarted in the nick of time before the Supreme Court actually decided the "enemy combatant" cases, which it is expected to do in June by a handful of digital photos and the blessings of a free press.


This jibes with a May 11 Washington Post account of what enlisted men at Abu Ghraib called "ghost detainees" captives with neither identities nor paper trails, whom intelligence officers constantly moved to hide them from Red Cross inspection teams. These detainees have become "the disappeared" theyve vanished within what the Post describes as a network of secret detention facilities managed by the Pentagon, CIA, and cooperating foreign-intelligence services "whose purpose is to hold suspected terrorists or insurgents for interrogation and safekeeping while avoiding U.S. or international court systems." Further, the New York Times reported on May 19 that military lawyers are no longer allowed to supervise interrogations for human-rights compliance a previously standard practice at these clandestine facilities. Laws and lawyers, it seems, are also among the disappeared.

President Bush may not have been aware of the particulars of the Abu Ghraib program, but his public statements suggest that he endorsed it in broad principle. In his 2003 State of the Union address, for instance, Bush spoke of 3000 foreign suspects, some of whom had been arrested. Others, he said, "met a different fate. Lets put it this way: they are no longer a problem." Until the Abu Ghraib story broke, Bush could afford such boasts as long as a system of "plausible deniability" was in place to protect the chain of command, over which he presides, from responsibility for rogue military and intelligence operations.

Very interesting, long article. Much more at link
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