A View From The Handbasket

Friday, December 16, 2005
When you write the laws, everything's legal
Posted by neros_fiddle at 10:49 PM
Before you get too excited about McCain getting the White House to support his anti-torture amendment, read this. McCain is trying to standardize military and nonmilitary interrogators to a single standard of permissible techniques -- that of the Army field manual.

With characteristic mendacity, Bush made a big show of "reversing position" and supporting McCain -- while changing the Army field manual:

The Army has approved a new, classified set of interrogation methods that may complicate negotiations over legislation proposed by Senator John McCain to bar cruel and inhumane treatment of detainees in American custody, military officials said Tuesday.


Some military officials said the new guidelines could give the impression that the Army was pushing the limits on legal interrogation at the very moment when Mr. McCain, Republican of Arizona, is involved in intense three-way negotiations with the House and the Bush administration to prohibit the cruel treatment of prisoners.

In a high-level meeting at the Pentagon on Tuesday, some Army and other Pentagon officials raised concerns that Mr. McCain would be furious at what could appear to be a back-door effort to circumvent his intentions.

"This is a stick in McCain's eye," one official said. "It goes right up to the edge. He's not going to be comfortable with this."

As with the rapidly-developing NSA spying scandal, here we see Bush expanding (one might say abusing) the power of the executive branch to get his own way at any cost. At the very least, this explains his obsession with calling Saddam Hussein "the dictator." Dictatorship is obviously a topic near and dear to his heart.

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