Saturday, May 20, 2006

Same Old Same Old

You know things are messy when the Washington Post, a reliable administration water carrier, finds a Bush nominee's behavior unacceptable. Yet that seems to be the case in one of today's editorials which deals with General Michael Hayden and his nomination to head the CIA.

AT THE SENATE intelligence committee hearing Thursday on Gen. Michael V. Hayden's nomination to head the CIA, Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) asked the nominee a simple question: Is "waterboarding" an acceptable interrogation technique? Gen. Hayden responded: "Let me defer that to closed session, and I would be happy to discuss it in some detail." That was the wrong answer. The right one would have been simple: No. Last year Congress banned cruel, degrading and inhumane treatment of detainees; one of its explicit aims was to stop the CIA's use of waterboarding, which induces an excruciating sensation of drowning and is considered by most human rights organizations to constitute torture. So why couldn't Gen. Hayden say clearly that the technique is now off-limits? [Emphasis added]

Why General Hayden thinks his answer is not fit for public consumption is puzzling until one remembers just what kind of government we now have. The public no longer has any right to know just exactly what is going on in the White House or any administration office. It only upsets the common folk when they learn they are being spied upon without warrants by a Pentagon agency which was originally designed to capture foreign intelligence for use in military situations. That's why General Hayden's response was as it was, which was "Madame, let's not go there."

The editorialist goes on to reference the Emperor's "signing statement" that accompanied the Congressional bill banning torture. This law is one of many that Bush has indicated he will violate as he chooses.

It appears that the Washington Post has finally found something that won't pass the smell test.

It's about time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's the all-powerful torture lobby at work. Think how many workers would lose their jobs if some one in high office condemned torture. Our trade deficit would go crazy.


5:48 AM  

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