June 7th, 2004

Apollo 4 on column of fire

License to torture

From the BBC:

A Pentagon report last year argued that President George W Bush was not bound by laws banning the use of torture, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The document also argued that torturers acting under presidential orders could not be prosecuted, the paper said.

The report was written by military and civilian lawyers for US Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld.

It came after staff at Guantanamo Bay complained normal interrogation tactics were not eliciting enough information.

I can't help but speculate that, for the Bush regime, and Bush in particular, torture was a solution looking for a problem. The man who mocked Karla Faye Tucker, that man revealed the inner Bush, and what has happened since should have been predictable.
Apollo 4 on column of fire

Louis XIV

Once upon a time, I thought Bush was in it for the money; now I think he is in it for the flight deck strutting, for the adulation, for the opportunities to diss the Queen of England, etc. I also thought Bush was joking when he expressed fondness for a dictatorship under him; now I don't think so. Josh Marshall has extracted some frightening evidence of Bush's intentions:
The Wall Street Journal has an extraordinary article in today's edition....

The article describes a confidential Pentagon report providing legal rationales and interpretations by which US personnel could use torture and methods of near-torture in contravention of various international treaties and US laws....

But that whole discussion is different in kind from one passage in the report. I quote from the piece ...
To protect subordinates should they be charged with torture, the memo advised that Mr. Bush issue a "presidential [sic] directive or other writing" that could serve as evidence, since authority to set aside the laws is "inherent in the president [sic]."

So the right to set aside law is "inherent in the president [sic]". That claim alone should stop everyone in their tracks and prompt a serious consideration of the safety of the American republic under this president [sic]. It is the very definition of a constitutional monarchy, let alone a constitutional republic, that the law is superior to the executive, not the other way around.

I tell people not to panic, but I think it wise to be prepared. We may be in extreme trouble. We had this once before, when Nixon's representative to the Supreme Court said
The [Legitimate] President wants me to argue that he is as powerful a monarch as Louis XIV, only four years at a time, and is not subject to the processes of any court in the land except the court of impeachment.
Nixon may not have had so many enablers as Bush. Our situation is more dire than in the Nixon days, if only because Bush is in the White House due to the worst crime ever committed against our Republic, rather than an election.