Bush does it so we can too

“No. Not at all. It’s a tacit acknowledgement that we’re doing smart things to get information to protect the American people,” the President said. “I’ve said to the people that we don’t torture, and we don’t.” Bush: ‘We Don’t Torture’

CIA Foresaw Interrogation Issues

The CIA concluded that criminal, administrative or civil investigations stemming from harsh interrogation tactics were “virtually inevitable,” leading the agency to seek legal support from the Justice Department, according to a CIA official’s statement in court documents filed yesterday.

The CIA said it had identified more than 7,000 pages of classified memos, e-mails and other records relating to its secret prison and interrogation program, but maintained that the materials cannot be released because they relate to, in part, communications between CIA and Justice Department attorneys or discussions with the White House.

Nineteen of those documents were withheld from disclosure specifically because the Bush administration decided they are covered by a “presidential communications privilege,” according to the filings, made in federal court in Manhattan. Some were “authored or solicited and received by the President’s senior advisors in connection with a decision, or potential decision, to be made by the president.”

Bush has said that he has not ordered people in be tortured in the name of the U.S. That assertion has been comically taken up by the Right not in lock step denial, but telling us all the wonderful benefits of torture with the dusty old ticking bomb scenario in tow. If taking on all the powers and prerogatives of a king torture chambers included, then why did Bush lie. If torture is the Right’s idea of virtue, why hide behind non-existent ticking bombs and partisan babble. Why not just say the words, torture is good, long live the king for torturing. One of the reasons is that that kind of behavior endangers our troops, foreign service employees and tends to get thrown back in our face we when we criticize other nation’s human rights record, Calling the Kettle Black

First Give a Fair Trial to the Detainees at Guantanamo …

On the rare occasion that U.S. officials venture to look critically at Malaysia’s detention policies, the local authorities have a ready response: Guantanamo.

Last December, the Malaysian government arrested and detained five Hindu rights activists under the ISA, in a blatant attempt to intimidate the activists from pressing claims of racial discrimination. The U.S. State Department responded critically to the detentions, though it did not condemn them directly.

Without mentioning the Internal Security Act, or even referring explicitly to the question of detention without trial, State Department spokesman Sean McCormack expressed concern for the legal rights of the detainees. It was the U.S. government’s expectation, he said, that the detainees “would be provided the full protections under Malaysian law, that they would be given due process, that they would be accorded all the rights accorded to any other citizen, and that this [would] be done in a speedy and transparent manner.”

The Malaysians’ reply was swift. “Can they [the United States] first of all give a fair trial to the detainees in Guantanamo Bay?” asked Deputy Prime Minister Najib Razak. “We’ll only respond if they do so.”

Where is the investigation of Whitehouse sponsored propaganda

TV’s Response to Pentagon Propaganda? Never Happened

The Department of Justice must launch an investigation to determine if the Pentagon broke the laws prohibiting government sponsored covert propaganda. But don’t hold your breath. As Senator Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) said in a Capitol Hill hearing this week, Bush-appointed DoJ officials are so MIA on government accountability, they should all be “on the side of milk containers.”

This is not a partisan issue. Democrats, Republicans and everyone else are the victims. Public interest groups have launched an effort to pressure our lawmakers to act; to send a resounding message that the American people will no longer tolerate government lies, half-truths, and manipulations in the media.

Many of the network officials interviewed by the Times “acknowledged only a limited understanding of their analysts’ interactions with the administration” and said analysts were not expected to disclose their financial conflicts before being broadcast as an expert.

Shame on the media for their irresponsible and shoddy reporting, for their unwillingness to vet sources, and for being compliant lapdogs when we needed snarling watchdogs.

It is one of the most surreal aspects of our time that there are people hiding in shrubs, knocking each other out of the way to get the latest embarrassing photographs of a celebrity, yet real journalists fail to exhibit anywhere near that same dedication when it comes to war or government accountability in general. Much of the reason doesn’t require grand compsircies about keeping facts hidden from the public. Its about being afraid to offend viewers that the media needs to view the commercials and buy their sponsor’s products. Even the viewers who might not be offended at pointing out that some retired colonel is not much more then a human fax machine for the Whitehouse finds it all too boring and quickly flips the channel to find some escapism. The networks are as guilty of mindless pandering in that sense as they are of being negigent in their duty to be the public’s eyes and ears. Hearings probably wouldn’t produce the kind of sea change the broadcast media in particular needs, but would would increase public awareness. It would get the average viewer to start questioning how much of what the networks are shoveling out is the truth or Conservative spin. More here, How the Pentagon turned the adversarial media into a PR arm