All The President’s Men…

Above the law? Not on your life! And had that not been the title bar it wouldn’t have been capped! But to say Congress has no authority? More of the same old shit from this administration. Someone needs to just arrest the bastards, throw them in a jail cell, apply some questions, and then we’ll see who has authority over whom.

How much more abuse of the law will it take before Congress gets their shit together and impeaches this whole administration? I really do get frustrated with them when this sort of article comes out. Since the stolen election this administration has done everything it could to prove just how much utter contempt they have for the American People, Congress and the rest of the world. I don’t know that anyone is surprised by anything they attempt any more, but I am heartily sick of seeing this stuff. And I am heartily sick of a do nothing Congress.

We’ve known about the lies that led to Iraq for HOW long now? Is there anyone on this planet who doesn’t know about this and is feeling anything but contempt for America right now? Do one thing right before his mad man gets out of office or stops the next election. Impeach the man, and impeach cheney. And while you are at it, fire everyone associated with them.

The exception claimed by Cheney’s counsel came in response to requests from congressional Democrats that David Addington, the vice-president’s chief of staff, testify about his involvement in the approval of interrogation tactics used at Guantanamo Bay.

Ruling out voluntary cooperation by Addington, Cheney lawyer Kathryn Wheelbarger said Cheney’s conduct is “not within the [congressional] committee’s power of inquiry”.

“Congress lacks the constitutional power to regulate by law what a vice-president communicates in the performance of the vice president’s official duties, or what a vice president recommends that a president communicate,” Wheelbarger wrote to senior aides on Capitol Hill.

The exception claimed by Cheney’s office recalls his attempt last year to evade rules for classified documents by deeming the vice-president’s office a hybrid branch of government – both executive and legislative.

Reading this article from CommonDreams and seeing the sneer on cheney’s face is so typical. I am very sure they do believe themselves above the law. And why not? No one has attempted to hold them accountable for anything even though the evidence is overwhelming. And when did they amend the Constitution to say this is a special legislative AND executive branch??? I don’t recall voting on it. I don’t recall Congress voting on it or even discussing it. So there is no such thing as a “hybrid office” for these felons to hide behind. And until and unless they do create this “hybrid office” David Addington doesn’t have a leg to stand on, although he may pray he does…

I’ve never heard of a criminal yet who didn’t act all indignant and claim they were innocent. Oh, I’ll just bet this piece of work knows he can’t do anything but delay, so what is he delaying for? It can’t be the end of the bush’s term. Could it be so that they can destroy any damning evidence? For although they could be found guilty of destruction of evidence, they couldn’t be found guilty of any actual crimes without it, or could they? Of course, there is a lot of damning evidence already out there.

But the real story lies not in whether or not David Addington will weasel out of jail. Oh, no, the real story lies in what happened behind the scenes. I doubt we’ll ever know it all. I’m not sure I want to know it all. But their perversion of the laws of this great nation deserve the worst punishments we can devise for the longest time possible. I consider them terrorists and would demand that they receive the same treatment as other terrorists.

But back to our story here… And that is alluded to in these few lines here:

However, Philippe Sands QC, law professor at University College, London, has agreed to appear in Washington and discuss the revelations in Torture Team, his new book on the consequences of the brutal tactics used at Guantanamo.

Excerpts from Torture Team were previewed exclusively by the Guardian earlier this month.

I just had to find out what this was about. So I did a google search for this article. And here is what I came up with:

Stress, hooding, noise, nudity, dogs

It was the young officials at Guantánamo who dreamed up a list of new aggressive interrogation techniques, inspired by Jack Bauer from the TV series, 24. But it was the politicians and lawyers in Washington who set the ball rolling. Philippe Sands follows the torture trail right to the top

# Philippe Sands
# The Guardian,
# Saturday April 19 2008

Philippe Sands QC uncovers details of interrogation techniques at Guantánamo Bay

On Tuesday, December 2 2002, Donald Rumsfeld signed a piece of paper that changed the course of history. That same day, President Bush signed a bill to put the Pentagon in funds for the next year. The US faced unprecedented challenges, Bush told a large and enthusiastic audience, and terror was one of them. The US would respond to these challenges, and it would do so in the “finest traditions of valour“. And then he signed a large increase in the defence budget.

Elsewhere in the Pentagon, an event took place for which there was no comment, no fanfare. With a signature and a few scrawled words, Rumsfeld reneged on the tradition of valour to which Bush had referred. Principles for the conduct of interrogation, dating back more than a century to President Lincoln’s famous instruction of 1863 that “military necessity does not admit of cruelty”, were discarded. He approved new and aggressive interrogation techniques that would produce devastating consequences.

The document had been drafted a few days earlier by the general counsel at the Defence Department, William J Haynes II (known as Jim Haynes), Rumsfeld’s most senior lawyer. The Haynes memo was addressed to Rumsfeld and copied to two colleagues: General Richard Myers, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the most senior military official in the US, and Doug Feith, under-secretary of defence for policy and number three at the department.

Attached to the memorandum were four short documents. The first was a legal opinion written by Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver, a staff judge advocate at Guantánamo. The second, a request for approval of new methods of interrogating detainees from Beaver’s boss, Major General Mike Dunlavey, the army’s head of interrogation at Guantánamo. The third was a memorandum on similar lines from General Tom Hill, commander of US Southern Command (Southcom, covering Central and South America). Last, and most important, was a list of 18 techniques of interrogation, set out in a three-page memorandum.

These techniques were new to the military. Category I comprised two techniques, yelling and deception. Category II included 12 techniques, aiming at humiliation and sensory deprivation, including stress positions, such as standing for a maximum of four hours; isolation; deprivation of light and sound; hooding; removal of religious and all other comfort items; removal of clothing; forced grooming, such as shaving of facial hair; and the use of individual phobias, such as fear of dogs, to induce stress.

Finally came Category III. These methods were to be used for only a very small percentage of detainees – the most uncooperative (said to be fewer than 3%) and exceptionally resistant individuals – and required approval by the commanding general at Guantánamo. In this category were four techniques: the use of “mild, non-injurious physical contact”, such as grabbing, poking and light pushing; the use of scenarios designed to convince the detainee that death or severely painful consequences were imminent for him or his family; exposure to cold weather or water; and, finally, the use of a wet towel and dripping water to induce the misperception of suffocation. This last technique came to be known as water-boarding, described on a chat show by the vice-president, Dick Cheney, as a “dunk in the water” and a “no-brainer” if it could save lives.

Obviously this is a must read article. It mentions the account of detainee 063, or Mohammed al-Qahtani. I had to look that up too. I found the disturbing details of his detention and interrogation HERE: If you decide to read it, be aware it isn’t pretty. It is disturbing to see how easily these Americans were able to use these techniques on another human being. I do not pretend to understand…

Back to the article from the Guardian though… I found this most enlightening:

Dunlavey told me that at the end of September a group of the most senior Washington lawyers visited Guantánamo, including David Addington, the vice president’s lawyer, Gonzales and Haynes. “They brought ideas with them which had been given from sources in DC.” When the new techniques were more or less finalised, Dunlavey needed them to be approved by Lieutenant Colonel Diane Beaver, his staff judge advocate in Guantánamo. “We had talked and talked, brainstormed, then we drew up a list,” he said. The list was passed on to Diane Beaver.”

According to the article, one of the most discussed influences advocating torture was the TV program 24 and the character Jack Bouer. I have to tell you that it makes me question the competence of the men and women who actually used this as a basis for their decisions. I mean, a TV show???

But can all this be justified by a TV program? I have to tell you that I find that so very hard to believe. Can these people NOT tell the difference between fantasy and reality? Just because life imitates fiction doesn’t mean we should actually DO it! Don’t these people believe in God? How do they reconcile what they have done with their belief in God? Are the laws of God suspended whenever it is expedient? Does going to confession make it all better? Cuz I have to tell you that I seriously doubt that is going to be good enough justification for God…

If YOU HAVE TO JUSTIFY SOMETHING, YOU ALREADY KNOW YOU ARE WRONG!

All I do know is that no one is above the law in this country. I don’t care who you are or who you THINK you are. Each and every person that owes their allegiance to our Flag is subject to our laws, including the president, vice president, and everyone of their staff. Being top dog doesn’t give you a get out of jail free card, it doesn’t give you immunity from prosecution either. Course, maybe they can buy justice… I hear it happens all the time.

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~ by justmytruth on April 30, 2008.

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