Thursday, July 28, 2005

Bush can't blame the military.

One of the most disgusting examples of right-wing spin is the attempt to paint criticism of torture as criticism of soldiers. Those who are guilty of the atrocities of Abu Ghraib were soldiers, the "reasoning" goes, so attacking the atrocities is attacking the troops.

Yes, I know that's appallingly stupid, but one thing that I have learned is that there is NOTHING the rightwingers won't say when attempting to defend Bush.

However, it's not only dumb, it's false. It turns out that the military told Bush NOT TO approve the Unamerican interrogation policies that they wound up approving.

The torture albatross is entirely around Bush's neck, no matter how much he tries to the blame the soldiers for it.

I notice that a South Carolina Republican asked that these memos be declassified. So maybe there still are some Republicans who place country ahead of party.

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Senior U.S. military lawyers strong disagreed in 2003 with an administration legal task force's conclusion that President Bush had authority to order harsh interrogations of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, the New York Times reported.

Citing newly disclosed documents, the Times said in its Thursday editions that despite the protests, the task force concluded that military interrogators and their commanders would be immune from prosecution for torture under federal and international law. The reason was the special character of the fight against terrorism.

The Times said that memorandums written by several senior uniformed lawyers in each of the military services took a sharply different view and warned that the position eventually adopted by the task force could endanger American military personnel.

The memorandums were declassified and released last week in response to a request from Sen. Lindsey Graham, a South Carolina Republican, the newspaper said.

One memorandum written by the deputy judge advocate general of the Air Force, Maj. Gen. Jack. Rives, said several of the "more extreme interrogation techniques, on their face, amount to violations of domestic criminal law" as well as military law,the Times said.

The Rives memorandum also said the use of many of the interrogation techniques "puts the interrogators and the chain of command at risk of criminal accusations abroad," the Times reported.

The Times said the memorandums provide the most-complete record to date of how uniformed military lawyers were frequently the chief dissenters as government officials formulated interrogation policies.

Military lawyers told Bush that his torture policies could endanger American military personnel.

Bush apparently didn't care.

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