Thursday, November 3


Yesterday I wrote:

One has to wonder whether the Washington Post's publication this morning of classified information on the CIA's network of interrogation venues used for interrogating al Qaeda operatives is a surreptitious tag-team effort in concert with the New York Times to high-low the Bush administration and its conduct of the global war on terror.

I pose this because of a story released by the NYT this morning on the Bush administration's "detainee policy."

A New York Times editorial (registration required) today lends credence, in my mind, to that supposition. Excerpts follow:

When the Bush administration rewrote the rules for dealing with prisoners after 9/11, needlessly scrapping the Geneva Conventions and American law, it ignored the objections of lawyers for the armed services. Now, heedless of the lessons of Abu Ghraib, the civilians are once again running over the people in uniform. Tim Golden and Eric Schmitt reported yesterday in The Times that the administration is blocking the Pentagon from adopting the language of the Geneva Conventions to set rules for handling prisoners in the so-called war on terror.

The rigid ideologues blocking this reform say the Geneva Conventions banning inhumane treatment are too vague. Which part of no murder, torture, mutilation, cruelty or humiliation do they not understand? The restrictions are a problem only if you want to do such abhorrent things and pretend they are legal. That is why the Bush administration tossed out the rules after 9/11.

It's a terrifying thing when the people who devote their lives to protecting our national security feel that the civilians who oversee their operations are out of control. Dana Priest reports in The Washington Post that even the Central Intelligence Agency's clandestine operators are getting nervous about the network of secret prisons they have around the world - including, of all places, at a Soviet-era compound in Eastern Europe.

The NYT editorial goes on to demonize Vice President Dick Cheney and persists in the MSM-propounded canard, and irrespective of the fact that Special Prosecutor Fitzgerald returned no such indictment(s) to this effect, that the Bush administration "outed" Valerie Plame and engaged in a malicious "counter-attack" on her husband, Joe Wilson.

Mr. Cheney, a prime mover behind the attempts to legalize torture, is now leading a back-room fight to block a measure passed by the Senate, 90 to 9, that would impose international standards and American laws on the treatment of prisoners. Mr. Cheney wants a different version, one that would make the C.I.A.'s camps legal, although still hidden, and authorize the use of torture by intelligence agents. Mr. Bush is threatening to veto the entire military budget over this issue.

When his right-hand man, Lewis Libby, resigned after being indicted on charges relating to team Cheney's counterattack against Joseph Wilson, Mr. Cheney replaced him with David Addington, who helped draft the infamous legalized-torture memo of 2002. Mr. Addington is now blocking or weakening proposed changes to the prison policies. The Times said he had berated a Pentagon aide who had briefed him and Mr. Libby recently on the draft of the new military standards for handling prisoners. (The indictment of Mr. Libby said he had done the same thing to a C.I.A. briefer in 2003 when agency officials questioned the intelligence on Iraq.)

But this distortion of fact to wound the President and Vice President pales with the virulence in this morning's Washington Post editorial (registration required), the two liberal MSM stalwarts seemingly working in tandem a second consecutive day to bloody the administration:

Guantanamo, however, is not the worst problem. As The Post's Dana Priest reported yesterday, the CIA maintains its own network of secret prisons, into which 100 or more terrorist suspects have "disappeared" as if they were victims of a Third World dictatorship. Some of the 30 most important prisoners are being held in secret facilities in Eastern European countries -- which should shame democratic governments that only recently dismantled Soviet-era secret police apparatuses. Held in dark underground cells, the prisoners have no legal rights, no visitors from outside the CIA and no checks on their treatment, even by the International Red Cross. President Bush has authorized interrogators to subject these men to "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment that is illegal in the United States and that is banned by a treaty ratified by the Senate. The governments that allow the CIA prisons on their territory violate this international law, if not their own laws.

President Bush has authorized interrogators to subject these men to "cruel, inhuman and degrading" treatment that is illegal in the United States and that is banned by a treaty ratified by the Senate.

And the proof of this is where?

The WaPo editorial board terms the treatment of suspected terrorists-detainees the most "important issue before the country or Congress." Really? I suspect the majority of Americans have other priorities in mind. Winning the global war on terrorism (GWOT) and protecting Americans from another "9/11" just might supercede interrogation protocols.

And answer me this: what are the equivalent Geneva Conventions' code of conduct in journalism? It would appear to this writer that the NYT and WaPo are doing their level best to torture the president, the vice president, and the secretary of defense with falsehoods and innuendo in order to discredit them.