How Sleazy Does It Have To Get? Really.
Exciting news of the quality, leadership and class of the Bush administration, courtesy of BuckFush.com
Bush Issues Signing Statement On Defense Act, Waiving Ban On Permanent Bases In Iraq
Even though he forced Congress to change its original bill, Bushâ€™s signature yesterday came with a little-noticed signing statement, claiming that provisions in the law â€œcould inhibit the Presidentâ€™s ability to carry out his constitutional obligations.â€ CQ reports on the provisions Bush plans to disregard:
One such provision sets up a commission to probe contracting fraud in Iraq and Afghanistan. Another expands protections for whistleblowers who work for government contractors. A third requires that U.S. intelligence agencies promptly respond to congressional requests for documents. And a fourth bars funding for permanent bases in Iraq and for any action that exercises U.S. control over Iraqâ€™s oil money.
This comes as a huge shock:
President George W. Bush and seven of his administration’s top officials, including Vice President Dick Cheney, National Security Adviser Condoleezza Rice, and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld, made at least 935 false statements in the two years following September 11, 2001, about the national security threat posed by Saddam Hussein’s Iraq.
In short, the Bush administration led the nation to war on the basis of erroneous information that it methodically propagated
[ ... ]
President Bush, for example, made 232 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and another 28 false statements about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Secretary of State Powell had the second-highest total in the two-year period, with 244 false statements about weapons of mass destruction in Iraq and 10 about Iraq’s links to Al Qaeda. Rumsfeld and Fleischer each made 109 false statements, followed by Wolfowitz (with 85), Rice (with 56), Cheney (with 48), and McClellan (with 14).
Bombshell (not). Canada lists the USA as a torture country.
A training manual for Canadian diplomats lists the United States as a country where prisoners risk torture and abuse, citing interrogation techniques such as stripping prisoners, blindfolding and sleep deprivation.
The Foreign Affairs Department document, released Friday, singled out the U.S. detention center at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba. It also names Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Syria as places where inmates could face torture.
[ ... ]
The listing drew a sharp response from the U.S., a key NATO ally and trading partner, which asked to removed from the manual.
“We find it to be offensive for us to be on the same list with countries like Iran and China. Quite frankly it’s absurd,” U.S. Ambassador David Wilkins to Canada said. “For us to be on a list like that is just ridiculous.”
Except that it’s neither ridiculous nor offensive. The US military has now admitted to using waterboarding.
the Bush Administration admitted publicly for the first time that it had used the simulated drowning technique of waterboarding on terror suspects in its custody.
Past practitioners of waterboarding, which is condemned around the globe as torture, have included the Spanish Inquisitors and the Khmer Rouge. Official confirmation that American interrogators had joined their ranks was almost lost in a blizzard of rolling headlines as the contenders battled through Super Tuesdayâ€™s historic â€œnational primaryâ€ for their partyâ€™s presidential nomination.
Michael Hayden, the CIA director, confirmed the use of waterboarding in congressional testimony, in response to leaked reports that the tactic was used on three al-Qaeda suspects in the two years after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001. The admission prompted demands from Democratic senators for an investigation into whether interrogators broke the law.
In his own testimony this week, Michael Mukasey, the new Attorney-General, infuriated Democrats when he refused to define waterboarding as illegal torture. He conceded, however, that if the technique used on him, he â€œwould feel that it wasâ€.
And what exactly makes it torture if it is not the experience of the tortured? That’s the whole point, isn’t it?
Can this guy get impeached yet?
[tags]Bush, George Bush, Michael Mukasey, Al Qaeda, Colin Powell, Iraq, Canada, torture, Dick Cheney, Condoleezza Rice, Donald Rumsfeld, Saddam Hussein, weapons of mass destruction, Wolfowitz, Scott McClellan, abuse, interrogation techniques, Guantanamo Bay, Israel, Afghanistan, China, Egypt, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, Syria, detention center, waterboarding, Signing Statement, Defense Act, Permanent Bases, whistleblowers, oil, US politics, US government, president, election, impeachment[/tags]