Friday, December 31, 2004

Torture? What torture?

The Bush administration is now changing the definition of torture, and conceding that YES, mental torture constitutes torture. They had previously said that it didn't, no matter how perverse it was or how long it went on.

The Justice Department is issuing a rewritten legal memo on the definition of torture, backing away from its own assertions prior to the Iraqi prison abuse scandal that torture had to involve "excruciating and agonizing pain."

"Consideration of the bounds of any such authority would be inconsistent with the president's unequivocal directive that United States personnel not engage in torture," said the memo from Daniel Levin, acting chief of the Office of Legal Counsel, to Deputy Attorney General James Comey.

Critics in Congress and many legal experts say the original documents set up a legal framework that led to abuses at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq, in Afghanistan and at the U.S. prison camp for terror suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba....

Democrats have said they would question Gonzales closely on memos he wrote that were similar to the now-disavowed Justice Department documents that critics say appear to justify torture.

The document, again directly contradicting the previous version, says torture need not be limited to pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure, impairment of bodily function, or even death."
One more time: Bush is a schoolyard bully. When somebody stands up to him, he backs off. When they don't, his actions become more and more horrendous.

SOME Democrats had BETTER ask Gonzales why the Bushies said one thing a year ago and something else now.

The right-wingers had been all over the airwaves, parroting Bush's official line that torture had to involve physical pain. Now that Bush himself admits that that was bullshit, what will they do?

Pretend it never happened, of course. Their descent into doublethink is nearly complete.

No comments: