Thursday, April 30, 2009
Noose narrows around Bush’s neck but Obama won’t tug on the rope
by Larry Geller
While the White House declines to look back, the buzz increases with allegations that George Bush authorized torture through an executive order. How long can Obama defend this guy against prosecution (for that’s exactly what he is doing)?
FBI E-Mail Says Bush Authorized Abuse of Iraqis, an article posted on 4/28/2009 on the website The Public Record, has been picked up by other websites around the Internet, though by no mainstream media that I can easily detect.
The article, by Jason Leopold, begins:
Senior FBI agents stationed in Iraq in 2004 claimed in an e-mail that President George W. Bush signed an executive order approving the use of military dogs, sleep deprivation and other harsh tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees.
The FBI e-mail -- dated May 22, 2004 -- followed disclosures about abuse of Iraqi detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and sought guidance on whether FBI agents in Iraq were obligated to report the U.S. military’s harsh interrogation of inmates when that treatment violated FBI standards but fit within the guidelines of a presidential executive order.
According to the e-mail, Bush’s executive order authorized interrogators to use military dogs, “stress positions,” sleep “management,” loud music and “sensory deprivation through the use of hoods, etc.” to extract information from detainees in Iraq, which was considered a violation of the Geneva Conventions.
While Google isn’t the best way to verify coverage, I did find a single mainstream reference recently to this FBI memo, in a Baltimore Chronicle & Sentinel article, Anatomy of Bush's Torture 'Paradigm', that appeared earlier than the above, on 4/14/2009:
An FBI e-mail of May 22, 2004, from a senior FBI agent in Iraq stated that President Bush had signed an Executive Order approving the use of military dogs, sleep deprivation and other tactics to intimidate Iraqi detainees.
The FBI official sought guidance in confronting an unwelcome dilemma. He asked if FBI personnel in Iraq were required to report the U.S. military’s harsh interrogation of detainees when such treatment violated Bureau standards but fit within the guidelines of a presidential Executive Order.
In sum, abundant evidence indicates that the torture techniques applied in the jail cells and interrogation chambers — the “alternative set of procedures” about which Bush boasted publicly on Sept. 6, 2006 — resulted directly from Bush’s Feb. 7, 2002, memo and implementing actions by his administration.
Certainly, this is news that both Bush and for some reason Obama likely wish would disappear. Chances are that it won’t.
In the face of “abundant evidence,” how long can we avoid bringing Bush to justice and still hold up our heads internationally as Americans?