Friday, September 22, 2006


They also agreed that past violations of the Geneva Conventions, an international treaty barring degrading and humiliating treatment of detainees, would not result in criminal or civil legal action.

Who are we? What we have we become? This "we need clarity" excuse is transparently bullshit - what was the problem all those years between Article 3 and now? This is about excusing behavior and actions that all but the psychopathic would agree is wrong.

What the fuck has happened to this country?

Has it all just been rhetoric all along? Is "human rights" just one more rhetorical weapon in the arsenal? Have we ever really been committed to it, or is just a pleasing, shiny persona that we put on to get people to go along with what America wants.

Right now, I just don't fucking know.
Are there are any other laws that the executive branch has broken that the legislative branch will be excusing by retroactively making it legal?

The warrantless wiretapping, perhaps?

The senators agreed to a White House proposal to make the standard on interrogation treatment retroactive to 1997, so C.I.A. and military personnel could not be prosecuted for past treatment under standards th administration considers vague.

I'm done with my little gripe about the lack of the word torture in the news articles about this legislative soul-selling. Not because there was any improvement - there wasn't. My quick count of today's NYT article shows two uses, one describing McCain's past, and one that actually refers to the legislation.

My new gripe is that this is a clusterfuck of an article. It's about as clear as a technical manual. Maybe that's because this is a clusterfuck of legislation, but guess what - the NYT should be making it a point to clearly describe what's going on here. That's their responsibility as the top newspaper in the country. They didn't even come close to meeting that responsibility here.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

As far as I can tell, the NYT does not have an article today on Bush's desire for legislation that allows him to torture.

The Washington Post published an AP article about yesterday's legal manuevering. Number of times the word torture appears: zero.

Perhaps using the word torture would not be sophisticated enough for the elite readers of these newspapers. Maybe that explains the complete avoidance of using that word.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

In today's article about Bush's desire for legislation that will allow him to torture, the NYT once again declines to use the word torture.

Same for the Washington Post.

Somehow this qualifies as informing the public.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Experts Say Bush’s Goal in Terrorism Bill Is Latitude for Interrogators’ Methods

The NYT has another article today about Bush's desire for the legal authority to torture, and again they do not use the word torture to describe what he is seeking. I find this to be a strange way of informing the public.

The word torture does appear in the article, but only in reference to the past experience of Senator McCain.


UPDATE: Well, I certainly shouldn't neglect the venerable Washington Post on this. Their article, "White House Offers New Proposal on Interrogations," also does not contain the word torture. I guess there are limits on the "he said, she said" style of political journalism, and that limit is seeking a quote from someone who would call this what it really is.
[...] don’t you think it’s intellectually lame to express one’s opinions anonymously?

I resemble that remark.


Since the link is actually about this guy Siegel, I will say that my vaguely informed take on him is that he is an intellectual onanist.
Canadians Fault U.S. for Its Role in Torture Case
A government commission on Monday exonerated a Canadian computer engineer of any ties to terrorism and issued a scathing report that faulted Canada and the United States for his deportation four years ago to Syria, where he was imprisoned and tortured.
“I am able to say categorically that there is no evidence to indicate that Mr. Arar has committed any offense or that his activities constituted a threat to the security of Canada,” Justice Dennis R. O’Connor, head of the commission, said at a news conference.
While the F.B.I. and the Mounted Police kept up their communications about Mr. Arar, Canada’s Department of Foreign Affairs was not told about his detention for almost three days. Its officials, acting on calls from worried relatives, had been trying to find him. Similarly, American officials denied Mr. Arar’s requests to speak with the Canadian Consulate in New York, a violation of international agreements.

Strange. How do I reconcile this mockery of justice with Bubble Boy's words about "confront[ing] evil" and our use of the "power of freedom"? An objective person might conclude that we were the ones who did evil here, that we were the ones violating a man's freedom. It's all so confusing to this layman.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Compromise Called Possible on Interrogations

How about we translate this into English:

Other administration officials said it became clear over the weekend that the administration was going to have to give ground. “I don’t think anyone anticipated the avalanche of opinion that would be assembled on the other side of what seemed like a pretty abstruse legal issue,” one official said, speaking on condition of anonymity as he was not authorized to discuss the issue with a reporter.

What Bush wants is the authority to torture.

Why the NYT would go with an anonymous, "he-said" quote calling it a "pretty abstruse legal issue" is completely beyond my understanding.

Further, the word "torture" does not appear anywhere in this article. Again, why the NYT would perform this little dance is totally beyond my comprehension.