S/SW blog philosophy -

I credit favorite writers and public opinion makers.

A lifelong Democrat, my comments on Congress, the judiciary and the presidency are regular features.

My observations and commentary are on people and events in politics that affect the USA or the rest of the world, and stand for the interests of peace, security and justice.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Constitution's advocates speak out against torture.

WASHINGTON - JANUARY 21:  U.S. President Barac...Image by Getty Images via Daylife's outstanding writer, Glenn Greenwald says what the new Jim Comey torture emails actually reveal, is different than what Bush administration spokesmen claim. To quote :

[regarding] how these DOJ torture memos were actually produced. The key excerpts tell the story as clearly as can be. Comey was vehemently opposed to a draft memo written by Acting OLC Chief Steven Bradbury -- ultimately dated May 10, 2005 (.pdf) -- that legally authorized the simultaneous, combined use of numerous "enhanced interrogation techniques" on detainees. This "combined techniques" memo was crucial because these were the tactics that had already been used on detainees, and -- after the prior OLC memos authorizing those tactics were withdrawn -- the White House was desperate for legal approval for what they had already done and what they wanted to do in the future.

The American Civil Liberties Union has established a new "Accountability for Torture" action center. Executive Director Anthony Romerero suggests that interested people "help submit evidence and demand accountability" of Attorney General Eric Holder. ( also offers a petition to Congress and A.G. Holder, that you can sign). To quote further from ACLU,

At this comprehensive and resource-filled new site, you can also view videos that make a powerful case for accountability…see profiles of the main architects of the Bush torture program…and use a search engine to examine the mountains of evidence the ACLU has obtained through Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) litigation.

Congressman Robert Wexler (D-Fla) is a fierce fighter for accountability regarding the Bush torture programs. He supports "an investigation into the Bush administration policies" and he has "introduced legislation that would establish a special select House Committee to reexamine our national security after a full investigation. . ." Representative Wexler reminds us that recently General David Petraeus supported President Obama's stance against torture. And General Ricardo Sanchez, "called for a truth commission to investigate the abuses and torture" while he was serving in Iraq, according to Wexler.

Jeff Stein, who writes Spy Talk for The Congressional Quarterly, recently made a very interesting behind the scenes report about the torture photographs that the White House does not want to reveal. His post, "Is the White House calling Tony Taguba a liar?," gives General Anthony Taguba, who officially investigated Abu Ghraib, credit for reportedly hinting at the fact that the torture photographs now in question existed. His very revealing post came as a result of an interview with Taguba as they were attending an off the record conference on torture recently in Florence, Italy. Stein described the meeting: "for three days last week, about 40 scholars, lawyers, government officials and journalists, mostly from the United States, gathered in Florence to talk about torture, among other urgent topics of the post-9/11 era."

References from Tom Head who writes on Civil Liberties for Torture and Trust, Is Torture Ever Justified?, and, Jane Mayer and the New Literature of U.S. Human Rights

[Post date - June 14, 2009]

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