Monday, November 07, 2005

Cheney and Torture

Two good articles from today's papers on the campaign to implement anti-torture legislation. The first is a Washington Post profile of Cheney's role in the whole business. We've known for a long time that he's been the driving force behind the opposition to McCain's 90-9 amendment, but this article goes beyond that and discusses his role in internal administration debates as well. Dana Priest and Robin Wright report that Cheney is finding himself increasingly isolated within the administration, as Secretary of State Rice, Deputy Secretary of Defense Gordon England and other top officials have come to see the necessity of implementing strong anti-torture language.

Even as Cheney attempts to gouge a loophole for the CIA in the anti-torture law, Senator Graham says he has not heard from the CIA that they find such a loophole necessary.

Wright and Priest: "Beside personal pressure from the vice president, Cheney's staff is also engaged in resisting a policy change. Tactics included 'trying to have meetings canceled ... to at least slow things down or gum up the works' or trying to conduct meetings on the subject without other key Cabinet members, one administration official said. The official said some internal memos and e-mail from the National Security Council staff to the national security adviser were automatically forwarded to the vice president's office - in some cases without the knowledge of the authors."

This should not be tolerated. The president should not accept this kind of backroom manipulation, and he should not allow his rampaging and bruised vice president (or his Mayberry Torquemada staffers) to call the shots on detainee policy around the world.

The second piece I wanted to recommend today is an editorial in the Christian Science Monitor, which heartily endorses the McCain amendment. It's worth a read.


At 9:19 AM, Blogger Phil S said...

Do not wait too long for Bush to step up and rebuke his VP--it's not going to happen!! Cheney is simply doing W's dirty work!


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