Tortured Ghost of Dicks Past

May 2, 2009

“When the President does it, that means it is not illegal.”
— Richard M. Nixon, TV interview with David Frost, May 20, 1977.

Condi Rice opened her mouth this week and spewed forth Dick Nixon, and in doing so, told the ghost of Ronald Reagon to go flush himself.

During an impromtu question-and-answer session at Stanford:

Q: Okay. Is waterboarding torture?
Condi: I just said — the United States was told, we were told, nothing that violates our obligations under the Convention Against Torture. And so, by definition, if it was authorized by the president, it did not violate our obligations under the Conventions Against Torture.

Rice blubbered out the comments when she was confronted by a student during a tour of a campus dorm. 
The student, apparently a guy, dogs Condi with all kinds of shit until she blurts out it was the president that did it, she only conveyed  the instructions.
Oh, yeah, the old “just following orders” routine.
And what did the dear leader say about that kind of shit in March 2003?

In a free Iraq, there will be no more wars of aggression against your neighbors, no more poison factories, no more executions of dissidents, no more torture chambers and rape rooms.
The tyrant will soon be gone. The day of your liberation is near.

And all Iraqi military and civilian personnel should listen carefully to this warning.
In any conflict, your fate will depend on your action. Do not destroy oil wells, a source of wealth that belongs to the Iraqi people. Do not obey any command to use weapons of mass destruction against anyone, including the Iraqi people.
War crimes will be prosecuted.
War criminals will be punished.
And it will be no defense to say, “I was just following orders.”

In response, John Dean, Dick Nixon’s White House counsel, later whistleblower for ‘a cancer growing on the presidency’ during Watergate, told MSNBC’s Keith Olbermann Thursday night Rice with her remarks might have admitted criminal conspirarcy.
Via Raw Story:

“She tried to say she didn’t authorize anything, then proceeded to say she did pass orders along to the CIA to engage in torture if it was legal by the standard of the Department of Justice,” Dean said.
“This really puts her right in the middle of a common plan, as it’s known in international law, or a conspiracy, as it’s known in American law, and this indeed is a crime.
If it indeed happened the way we think it did happen.”

“She was obviously trying to extricate herself and keep herself in a safe distance, that she was only operating under some general guidance of the president making things legal,” he said. “So it’s not clear whether this is a full-throated Nixonian-type defense or whether it’s a lot of confusion of the facts and throwing things up there to try to protect herself.”
“These kinds of statements are going to come back and be interesting to any investigator,” he added.

Torture is illegal, period.
Even so from the Right’s icon — Reagan.
In lawyer/writer Glenn Greenwald’s most-excellent post on Friday about Reagan’s stand on 1988’s Convention Against Torture:

The views that Ronald Reagan not only advocated, but signed a treaty compelling the U.S. to adhere to, are ones that are now  –  in the view of our dominant media narrative  –  the hallmarks of The Hard Left: torture is never justified; there are “no exceptional circumstances” justifying it; it must be declared to be a serious criminal offense ; and  — most of all  –  the U.S., as Ronald Regan put it, “is required either to prosecute torturers who are found in its territory or to extradite them to other countries for prosecution.” Reagan’s explicit view that the concept of “universal jurisdiction” permits signatory nations (such as Spain) to prosecute torturers from other countries (such as the U.S.) is now considered so fringe that it’s almost impossible to find someone in mainstream American debates willing to advocate it.

The problem here, though, is the MSM and word usage — “harsh interrogation” instead of what it really is, “torture.”
The Wasington Post‘s Dana Priest spews forth bullshit:

Q: If they are going to follow the analogy on reporting other criminal issues, why wouldn’t reporters use the term “alleged torture” or “accused of torture”?
Waterboarding is torture, no one disputes it.
To substitute “harsh interrogation techniques’ with regard to waterboarding is like saying “manslaughter” when the charge is “murder.”
PRIEST: Not true.
The Bush administration would dispute that waterboarding is torture. That’s what the memos are all about. Torture is a crime.
There is not a lot of case history to define torture.

What the shit does the so-called ‘Bush administration’ have anything to do with the here-and-now?
So there we are — ghosts of past, present and hopefully Not the future.
Torture is immoral, illegal and whoever okays it a heartless criminal.
Investigate, prosecute and punish everyone, starting at the extreme top, for creating this black hole in US history.

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