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Many of the harsh interrogation techniques repudiated by the Pentagon on Wednesday would be made lawful by legislation put forward the same day by the Bush administration. And the courts would be forbidden from intervening.
The proposal is in the last 10 pages of an 86-page bill devoted mostly to military commissions, and it is a tangled mix of cross-references and pregnant omissions.
Mr. Bush said he had never authorized torture but indicated that aggressive interrogation techniques short of torture remained important tools in the administration‚Äôs efforts to combat terrorism.
‚ÄúI cannot describe the specific methods used ‚ÄĒ I think you understand why,‚ÄĚ he said. ‚ÄúIf I did, it would help the terrorists learn how to resist questioning, and to keep information from us that we need to prevent new attacks on our country. But I can say the procedures were tough, and they were safe and lawful and...
This is a very dangerous situation indeed. A country usually resorts to the random use of torture (and that is what Mr. Bush is recommending no matter what terminology he attempts to hide it with) when they have become convinced that A) they are so powerful that no one will ever be able to bring them to the court of world opinion and B) when they are convinced that the propaganda ministry is in sufficient control of the media as to enflame the temper and sentiments of the public to support the torture as righteous necessity for the survival of the country. This is usually cohesive with the "demonization" of the group or class singled out for this special "treatment". All Americans should be deeply distressed at these turn of events, since we never stooped to this level even when we were in constitutional, congressional declared war against another nation, which of course we are not now, nor were we in Vietnam. The fact that Bible quoting, self convinced followers of Christ are likely to support this abomination is further indication of how much we are in the control of propagandist manipulation.