Even back home they're starting to <$NoAd$>wonder. This from an editorial
in yesterday's Houston Chronicle
The United States' moral authority to call for the rule of law and respect for human rights has been undermined by legal machinations the Bush administration undertook to justify torturing prisoners taken in the war on terror.
Administration officials have attempted to downplay the significance of a March 6, 2003, Justice Department memorandum that concluded that, as commander in chief in time of war, President George W. Bush is bound neither by federal law nor the tenets of the Geneva Conventions that ban torture as a means of extracting information from detainees.
The March memo asserts that interrogators could inflict severe pain on a detainee with impunity as long as the intent was something other than to torture. An interrogator would be culpable only if he knew his actions would inflict suffering that is severe enough to induce "prolonged" physical or mental effects. An interrogator would be immune from punishment if he believed he acted to prevent a larger harm, the lawyers determined.
The memos were obviously concocted to defend acts that are clearly beyond the bounds of a civilized nation.
The memos support the view that the prisoner abuses uncovered at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were not merely the grave mistakes of a few soldiers, but resulted from policies formed at the highest levels of government. They strengthen concerns about how detainees at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan are being treated.
As I suggest
today in The Hill
, I think we're actually pretty far past that point.
We're like contestants on Wheel of Fortune
with a long phrase spelled out in front of us with maybe one or two letters missing. We know what the letters spell. It's obvious. We just don't have the heart to say it out loud.