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The New York Times and Sunday morning political talk shows are contorting themselves into linguistically-torturous positions in a feeble attempt to avoid using the word "torture" to describe the immoral and criminal techniques employed at Guantánamo, Abu Ghraib and CIA black sites against suspected al Qaeda-linked prisoners. Now, Foreign Policy magazine has produced the euphemism-free "ultimate guide to the Bush Administration's journey to the dark side."
Archbishop of Denver Charles Chaput is not one to shy away from national politics and he encourages Catholics around the country to engage as well. The connection between Catholic ethics and government policy is fast becoming a specialty in his public speaking. Yet so far there has been nothing issued from his office to guide Catholic thought on the matter of the shocking Bush torture memos and the meaning of their release.
The Web is brimming today with comment on Obama's release of the Bush team's torture memos, much of it decrying Obama's accompanying statement, in which he said he believes the torturers should not be held to account. But the politics that gave rise to the memos suggest a more accurate reading of the politics surrounding their release.
Human Rights USA, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the American Civil Liberties Union are expected to make their case why the United States must prosecute former Bush administration officials for war crimes and grave violations of international law before the Inter-American Commission for Human Rights this afternoon in Washington.
Former Attorney General Alberto Gonzales appeared at a forum on Republicans and the Hispanic vote at the Capitol Hill Club this morning, getting a standing ovation from the crowd when he was pointed out by the moderator. As Gonzales left, I asked him whether he would participate in a “truth commission,” as proposed by Sen. Pat Leahy (D-Vt.), to look into alleged law-breaking by the Bush administration.
Some important analysis from our Washington Independent colleague national security reporter Spencer Ackerman. President Barack Obama took a major step toward undoing the interrogation and detention policies of the Bush administration on Thursday, issuing four executive orders that lay out an unequivocal path to closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility, constructing a new legal and policy architecture for terrorism detainees, and ending the CIA’s so-called “enhanced interrogation” regime. Both civil libertarians and ex-CIA officials involved in interrogations and detentions policies hailed the changes.
Noting that George Bush Sr. pardoned the Iran-Contra clan on Christmas eve of 1992, Democrats.com is warning that his son could do something very similar Wednesday: pardon Dick Cheney and the rest of the administration officials who authorized and encouraged the torture and humiliation of “war on terror” detainees.
Here’s something interesting from my favorite new Washington gossip blog, Unattributable:
According to one Democratic senator, the Senate Judiciary Committee has been discussing the possibility of holding major hearings to examine the activities of the Bush Administration. The form and scope of such hearings have yet to be determined, but this senator, and member of the Senate Judicial Committee, is pressing for something along the lines of Church-Pike–a bicameral endeavor that would address the full range of executive misdeeds.
So how is it that a man who wrote the legal justification for war crimes can land a position at one of the country's...