Saturday, August 30, 2008


Eric Lichtblau has an important article in today's The New York Times on the machinations of the Bush administration aimed at codifying that the U.S. remains "at war" with Al Qaeda.

Reports Lichtblau:

"Seven years after the Sept. 11 attacks, Mr. Bush’s advisers assert that many Americans may have forgotten that. So they want Congress to say so and “acknowledge again and explicitly that this nation remains engaged in an armed conflict with Al Qaeda, the Taliban, and associated organizations, who have already proclaimed themselves at war with us and who are dedicated to the slaughter of Americans.”

"The language, part of a proposal for hearing legal appeals from detainees at the United States naval base at Guantánamo Bay, Cuba, goes beyond political symbolism. Echoing a measure that Congress passed just days after the Sept. 11 attacks, it carries significant legal and public policy implications for Mr. Bush, and potentially his successor, to claim the imprimatur of Congress to use the tools of war, including detention, interrogation and surveillance, against the enemy, legal and political analysts say."

This proposal smacks of Cheney and his diabolical assistant David Addington. By having congress go along and reaffirm that the U.S. is "at war," Cheney and Addington hope to put up an extra buffer between themselves and those who feel they must be held accountable for the introduction of "harsh interrogation methods," read "torture."

Writes Lichtblau:

"Mr. Mukasey laid out the administration’s thinking in a July 21 speech to a conservative Washington policy institute in response to yet another rebuke on presidential powers by the Supreme Court: its ruling that prisoners at Guantánamo Bay , were entitled to habeas corpus rights to contest their detentions in court.

"The administration wants Congress to set out a narrow framework for those prisoner appeals. But the administration’s six-point proposal goes further. It includes not only the broad proclamation of a continued “armed conflict with Al Qaeda,” but also the desire for Congress to “reaffirm that for the duration of the conflict the United States may detain as enemy combatants those who have engaged in hostilities or purposefully supported Al Qaeda, the Taliban and associated organizations.” "

Congress must not go along with this. The Bush regime of using waterboarding, harsh methods of interrogation, sleep deprivation, long hours of forced standing, psychological punishments - these must not be allowed to become institutionalized because the U.S. is "at war." Cheney, Addington, Rice, Chertoff, Libby and Bush must all face trial as war criminals after their term of office comes to an end. Only another five months!

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