February 23, 2008 |
The Justice Department has opened an internal investigation into whether its top officials improperly authorized or reviewed the CIA's use of waterboarding when interrogating terror suspects, according to documents released Friday. The investigation was revealed at the request of Democratic Sens. Richard J. Durbin of Illinois and Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island. A Justice Department spokesman, however, said the inquiry had been continuing for several years.
February 14, 2008 |
In a sharp rebuke to the White House, the Senate passed legislation Wednesday that would impose sweeping new restrictions on interrogation methods used by the CIA and ban a widely condemned technique known as waterboarding, in which a prisoner is made to feel he is drowning. President Bush is expected to veto the bill, which would outlaw an array of coercive interrogation tactics that U.S. allies have denounced but the administration has said are crucial to prevent terrorist attacks.
February 14, 2008 |
They're baack! The Bushies, that is. I was so preoccupied with the presidential primaries that I almost forgot about that guy who keeps hanging around in the White House, despite the nation's fervent desire that he disappear. And I'm sure I wasn't alone in my memory lapse. With the news so full of Obama, Clinton, McCain and Huckabee, Bush and Cheney had started to seem like dead men walking. But I was making the classic horror movie mistake. You know ...
February 12, 2008
Wouldn't it be reassuring if the trial of suspected 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed and five other alleged terrorist plotters could finally provide accountability and justice? Unfortunately, the announcement Monday by military prosecutors that they will seek the death penalty for the six men under the ill-conceived Military Commissions Act is unlikely to bring closure.
February 8, 2008
Re "Waterboarding is still an option," Feb. 7 It is impossible to reconcile how the current occupants of the White House can even remotely claim to be Christian and, with the same mouth, suggest that waterboarding is legal. Talk about the ultimate double-speak. Never mind the reality that international treaties, ones the United States is a signatory to, state that such techniques constitute torture and consequently make it illegal. What's truly astounding are the number of so-called Christians who line up behind this mockery, in their lame attempts to justify behavior that is not only illegal but clearly immoral.
February 7, 2008 |
The White House said Wednesday that the widely condemned interrogation technique known as waterboarding is legal and that President Bush could authorize the CIA to resume using the simulated-drowning method under extraordinary circumstances. The surprise assertion from the Bush administration reopened a debate that many in Washington had considered closed. Two laws passed by Congress in recent years -- as well as a Supreme Court ruling on the treatment of detainees -- were widely interpreted to have banned the CIA's use of the extreme interrogation method.
February 6, 2008 |
CIA Director Michael V. Hayden said publicly for the first time Tuesday that his agency had used the harsh interrogation technique known as waterboarding on three Al Qaeda suspects, and he testified that depriving the agency of coercive methods would "increase the danger to America."
February 5, 2008
Re "Mukasey's confession," Opinion, Feb. 2 I enjoyed Tim Rutten's "keep it simple, stupid" logic that disrobes Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey's attempt to dress his words in some sort of distorted rationale and acceptable response to the simple question of whether or not waterboarding is torture. Mukasey is only a cut above former Atty. Gen. Alberto R. Gonzales, as he doesn't try to use the excuse that he cannot remember or recall whether waterboarding is torture. At least Mukasey is willing to admit that if he were a victim of waterboarding, it would be torture and therefore illegal.
February 4, 2008
Re "Democrats decry Mukasey's waterboarding silence," Jan. 31 Did Democrats really expect candor from Atty. Gen. Michael B. Mukasey? Sen. Charles E. Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) showed that Democrats were complicit, not merely spineless. They knew what would happen. The executive branch needs oversight, and Article I of the Constitution gives Congress the authority to make rules for prisoners. At the least, there should be full disclosure to Congress regarding our techniques, and Congress should decide what is acceptable.
February 2, 2008
The attorney general of the United States, Michael B. Mukasey, testified this week that he would consider waterboarding to be torture if it were done to him, but that he cannot say it's always illegal. We believe these statements are legally and morally wrong, and set a dangerous and hypocritical standard of convenience for torturers.