Just in case you thought my obsession with Michael Moore had completely supplanted the one with the Bush administration’s sordid relationship with torture, here are a pair of stories to restore your faith in my ability to stay focused.
First, from the editorial writers of the Washington Post, an in-your-face comeback to the criticism their earlier editorial had elicited from Donald Rumsfeld: Torture Policy (cont’d).
Since Mr. Rumsfeld referred directly to The Post, we believe we owe him a response. We agree that the country is at war and that we all must weigh our words accordingly. We also agree that the consequences of the revelations of prisoner abuse are grave. As supporters of the missions in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have been particularly concerned about the ways that the scandal — and the administration’s continuing failure to come to terms with it — could undermine the chances for success. We also have warned about the uses that might be made of it by captors of Americans. What strikes us as extraordinary is that Mr. Rumsfeld would suggest that this damage would be caused by newspaper editorials rather than by his own actions and decisions and those of other senior administration officials.
What might lead us to describe Mr. Rumsfeld or some other “senior civilian or military official” as “ordering or authorizing or permitting” torture or violation of international treaties and U.S. law? We could start with Mr. Rumsfeld’s own admission during the same news conference that he had personally approved the detention of several prisoners in Iraq without registering them with the International Committee of the Red Cross. This creation of “ghost prisoners” was described by Maj. Gen. Antonio M. Taguba, who investigated abuses at Abu Ghraib prison, as “deceptive, contrary to Army doctrine and in violation of international law.” Failure to promptly register detainees with the Red Cross is an unambiguous breach of the Fourth Geneva Convention; Mr. Rumsfeld said that he approved such action on several occasions, at the request of another senior official, CIA Director George J. Tenet.
Heh. Point WaPo.
Also, those of us who don’t live in the City by the Bay can only enjoy these posters from afar. But thanks to Robert Mailer Anderson, SF residents get them up close and personal: