A Torturous Slow Walk on the NIE –updated–
UPDATE (7:55 a.m.): Senator Feingold is speaking against the Republican Torture Act. Senator Kerry is also against the detainee bill and will speak out on the Senate floor, as well as in
a speech remarks at Johns Hopkins today. Those remarks appear below. Christy has more quotes.
We must start treating our moral authority as a precious national asset that does not limit our power but magnifies our influence. That seems obvious, but this Administration still doesn’t get it. Right now Ã¢â‚¬“ today — they are trying to rush a bill through Congress that will fundamentally undermine our moral authority, put our troops at greater risk, and make our country less safe.
Let me be clear about somethingÃ¢â‚¬”something that it seems few people are willing to say. This bill permits torture. It gives the President the discretion to interpret the meaning and application of the Geneva Conventions. No matter how much well-intended United States Senators would like to believe otherwise, it gives an Administration that lobbied for torture just what it wanted.
The only guarantee we have that these provisions really will prohibit torture is the word of the President. But we have seen in Iraq the consequences of simply accepting the word of this Administration. No, we cannot just accept the word of this Administration that they will not engage in torture given that everything they’ve already done and said on this most basic question has already put our troops at greater risk and undermined the very moral authority needed to win the war on terror.
|GOP for TORTURE in '06!|
Meanwhile, the Baghdad police academy is such a
total wreck it has to be destroyed. Hey, but by all means let's talk about
Ain't democracy grand?
It is as long as you can defend
Frankly, the White House NIE
message spin is falling so flat, no one can fix it. It's no offense to
Franny, who isn't at fault, but has to do with the congenital liars who write
her checks. There's a short hand script for what's going on. It has to do with
wanting to torture the Democrats during the 2006 election cycle. It's the
Marque de Sade of political campaigns. The women are just window dressing.
But the pile of stinking Texas cow paddies piling up around 1600 Pennsylvania
Avenue is now high enough to make a pig faint. However, the Republicans need all the
cover they can get so they just keep adding more on.
… According to White House adviser Fran Townsend, the report is expected
to take six months to produce. “Most NIEs are substantial research and
writing projects that can take as much as a year,” she said yesterday.
The six-month timeframe for the Iraq NIE is “still quicker than most
NIEs get done.
“The timing has got nothing to do with the election,” she added.
Townsend appears to have stretched the truth to the point of snapping. According
to a 2004 Senate intelligence committee report, it generally takes between
two weeks and two months to produce an NIE. That means that with an Aug. 4
start date, President Bush should have expected a report on his desk around
What's more, most U.S. intelligence agencies have been grappling with Iraq
almost full-time since the invasion, many providing direct warfighter support.
This is hardly an obscure intellectual issue for them, nor one that is particularly
fuzzy. This may be one of the few reports whose conclusions are widely known
before a word is put to paper.
In prognosticating what the upcoming Iraq NIE would say, Newsweek's Mark
Hosenball reported two weeks ago that Defense officials briefing lawmakers
were “paint[ing] a scenario in which Iraq could dissolve into civil war
if Iraqi security forces don't soon get their act together.”
Seeing those conclusions leaked to the media — that's an October surprise
the White House would likely hope to avoid.
It doesn't matter what anyone says about the NIE. The hell with torture: sunset it, wait until
January, just keep your eye on Iraq.
Our charge is to win back Congress.
Any goal less will only make matters worse, turning our current nightmare into
more real life bondage, free speech ball-gag included. Besides, only 34 Democrats in the House voted to legalize torture, with 219 “family values” Republicans opting for electrodes.
As for Republicans real goal, they don't care about Iraq, keeping us safe or what legalizing torture means to this country. They just want to win. To save our democracy we have to catch that wave.