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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 6/18/08

I Don't Remember...

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"Senior officials in the United States government sought information on aggressive techniques [torture], twisted the law to create the appearance of their legality and authorized their use against detainees," (Sen. Carl) Levin said. "In the process, they damaged our ability to collect intelligence that could save lives."

And that was a bit of the more mild testimony yesterday before Sen. Levin's Senate Armed Services Committee. Levin has released heretofore secret documents that are detailing the extent to which senior members of both the Defense Department and the State Department - as well as the inner circle of Bush Crime Family operatives - colluded in multiple criminal conspiracies to violate an endless list of laws, both domestic and international. Taken together, it is possible to see the astonishing scenario that clearly demonstrates the criminality organized, planned, and committed by what will come to be known as the most corrupt and lawless administration in U.S. history - that of George W. Bush.

As Spencer Ackerman writes in today's Washington Independent in his article "Roadmap to Torture"...

Interrogation techniques designed for use at Guantanamo Bay, which President George W. Bush had decreed outside the scope of the Geneva Conventions, had "migrated" to Iraq, which Bush recognized was under Geneva, concluded panel chairman James Schlesinger, a former defense secretary. Schlesinger's panel, however, did not explain which officials ordered the abusive techniques to transfer across continents -- or how and why they became Pentagon policy in the first place.

The inane and misleading conclusions in the report were merely part of the effort to cover-up responsibility for war crimes as well as to toss a rancid bone to the general public and the wholly compromised U.S. news media. "See?" the report was to imply. "We've investigated. Yes, indeedy we have. And, guess what? It's all okay. Just a few bad apples. You know, a few soldiers who got a little out of hand, squirted water on a couple of terrorists, maybe brought in a few dogs, maybe a bit of pummeling, hanging, a few beatings maybe. You know, the kinda stuff you can do to terrorists. But, nothing really important to see here. Let's all move on. Let's go. C'mon, outta here."

One of the thugs giving testimony was former Pentagon General Counsel William Haynes. He retired in April after his nomination to the federal judiciary went nowhere. In front of the Senate panel he pled ignorance. "No, sir, I don't remember it at the time," Haynes said when asked if he had received a memo authorizing the illegal "enhanced interrogation" [torture] techniques. He then added almost incoherently and in direct contradiction to what he had just said, "But I saw it a long time ago... it's possible I saw it at the time."

And, as Ackerman writes, it got better.

How could Haynes not have seen it? It was addressed to him! "The recipient," Haynes clarified, "is the Office of the Secretary of Defense General Counsel, which is not my precise title. I don't remember doing something with this information," Haynes said. "What I recall was the environment I described earlier. I've forgotten what prompted my interest other than the general concerns. There may have been some other catalyst but I can't be more specific." Ever discuss SERE techniques [torture techniques and ways to resist them] with Addington, Yoo, or other senior [Bush Administration] lawyers? "Um, I believe I did discuss SERE techniques with other people in the administration," he said. And the gist (of those conversations)? "First off, my memory is not great. But if I were to discuss anything further I believe I'd have to talk about classified information." So his memory isn't great -- unless he's in closed session? "I could not tell you the gist of those conversations outside of classified session." Levin was, um, perplexed by this obvious lie. "I don't know what going into classified session would add to it." Haynes: "OK. I agree."

There's no end to the crimes committed by Bush and his thugs. No end to the list of criminals who have ruptured this nation and spat on the laws we have developed for both self-government and our relationships with other nations; no end until every member of Bush's "inner circle," (including Bush and Cheney; especially Bush and Cheney) every political appointee, every hack lawyer designated as the next "memo writer" authorized to make "legal" this crime or that crime, or sanitize some newly thought up abrogation of the law - no end to the list until the name of every one of these disrespectful, neo-fascist bastards is included in indictments, war crimes trials, and, if justice is to prevail, convictions.


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Mike Malloy is a former writer and producer for CNN (1984-87) and CNN-International (2000). His professional experience includes newspaper columnist and editor, writer, rock concert producer and actor. He is the only radio talk show host in America to have received the A.I.R (Achievement in Radio) Award in both (more...)
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