Thursday, June 24, 2004

The Return Of Sanity, Part II

The New York Times and Washington Post continue to show signs that they are recovering from Bushmania and are nearly ready to removed from credibility life support.

"Questions also remain about how the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere came about. The documents confirm that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved a number of harsh interrogation techniques for use in Guantanamo in December 2002, including hooding, requiring nudity, placing prisoners in stress positions and using dogs. After military lawyers objected that these violated international law, Mr. Rumsfeld suspended their use a month later. But all these techniques, as well as the restricted practices now approved for Guantanamo, appeared in an interrogation policy issued for Iraq by command of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez in September 2003. Nearly word for word, the harsh methods detailed in memos signed by Mr. Rumsfeld -- which even administration lawyers considered violations of the Geneva Conventions -- were then distributed to interrogators at Abu Ghraib. The procedures in turn could be read to cover much of what is seen in the photographs that have scandalized the world. How did this spread of improper and illegal practices occur? The Bush administration has yet to offer a convincing answer -- or hold anyone accountable for it." Washington Post, "A Partial Disclosure", June 24th editorial
"This partial view of the thinking of the administration on the prisoner issue did provide, once again, confirmation of how this president and his team consider themselves above the rules that bind ordinary mortals. From the start of his presidency, Mr. Bush has resisted scrutiny and regulation, taking the position that the public should recognize that his people are good people with good intentions, and trust them to do the right thing.

"The nation, of course, has always held to a different tradition that relies on the restraint of the rule of law rather than individual goodness. The debacle at Abu Ghraib shows how badly things can go when average Americans are let loose from those restraints, or allowed to believe that such restraints do not apply to them. The political and moral disasters of this administration, from the current dreadful state of American prestige abroad to the injustices perpetrated on innocent Americans erroneously suspected of terrorist ties, show that the same thing applies to the people at the top." New York Times, "The White House Papers", June 24th editorial


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