The Department of TORTURE
Tue Nov 1, 2005 01:36

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [apfn-1] The Department of TORTURE
Date: Mon, 31 Oct 2005 20:39:42 -0000
From: thepen_ab (Supreme Court) (McCain Amendment)


The Senate amendment to the new Defense Appropriations Act would
explicitly prohibit the U.S. government from subjecting those in
its custody to cruel, inhumane, or degrading treatment or
punishment. It's pretty straightforward stuff. Yet despite a
rousing 90-9 vote for its passage, there are still dark forces at
work trying to subvert the intent of this measure, the language of
which must survive the conference committee in the House of

If the morality perverters have their way, there will be a
carve-out to exempt the CIA from this prohibition. They are
seeking this with the express knowledge that sadists (acting under
the color of CIA authority) have been responsible for the horrific
abuses which made necessary further action and clarification of
existing law. This exemption would in fact turn the measure on
its head to AUTHORIZE torture by a particular agency,
diametrically contrary to the amendment's intent. They might as
well appoint a "Torture Czar" and make it a cabinet level

Actually, for all practical purposes we already have a torture
czar . . . it's the Vice President of the United States, Dick
Cheney. Yes, it is Cheney himself who is PERSONALLY pressuring
the conference committee to rescind the McCain amendment in this
way (just as he was pressuring CIA analysts in the cooking of the
justification for war with Iraq). It has been Cheney himself who
has taken a lead role from the beginning, talking in 2002 about
the need to revive the "dark arts." Since they could no longer
keep the abuses at Guantanamo and Abu Ghraib and elsewhere
classified, they have prosecuted a couple of selected patsies for
these crimes, while their agency handlers right up through the
chain of command have continued in their unconscionable ways.

This is not to let the president himself off the hook. In the
first place there is Bush's own overreaching lust for absolute
dictatorial power. Indeed, his longtime attorney and ally,
Alberto Gonzales, put his name on the infamous Jan 25, 2002 memo,
referring to the Geneva convention as "quaint." But what many
people do not realize is that the heart of that reprehensible
legal pretzel job was drafted by David Addington, the staff
attorney closely associated with Dick Cheney. And would anybody
like to guess Mr. Addington's current title in the White House?
That's right. He just replaced the indicted "Scooter" Libby as
Cheney's Chief of Staff.

There isn't a "talking head" out there not drinking their own
"talking points Kool-Aid" who believes the Fitzgerald
investigation is remotely close to being finished. If anything,
the allegations in the Libby indictment, which identify Cheney as
the one who specifically advised Libby that Valerie (Plame) Wilson
worked under the covert wing of the CIA, suggest that the Vice
President is at least one of the big game that the Special Counsel
is still pursuing. The tight-lipped Fifth Amendment-type
reactions given by Cheney in the aftermath of the indictment to
explain his own role in the leak scandal do nothing to dispel the
intrigue. Instead the administration is circling the torture-
advocate wagons even tighter with the promotion of Addington,
while the shadow of Traitorgate continues to darken over their

Especially now, with the chickens of treason coming home to roost
in the nest of the chicken hawks themselves, this is the last time
in history for the authors of torture as official American policy
to be allowed to push for largesse for even wider atrocities. We
must all immediately contact our senators and members of the House
of Representatives who might have influence on the conference
committee to demand that the overwhelmingly approved language of
the McCain amendment remain intact in the final Defense
Appropriations Bill.


We must also recognize that this is profoundly related to the
selection of a replacement for Harriet Miers as Supreme Court
nominee. Remember -- one of the talking points of the neocons
(before they turned on her for not being sufficiently and
demonstrably loyal to their causes) was that she would support the
president's policies in the deceptively dubbed "war on terror."
But the universal common denominator of all Bush appointees is
their submissive endorsement of the unlimited expansion of the
president's power to do whatever he likes in defiance of Congress
and even the people themselves.

In his own confirmation hearing Roberts refused to say (among
other things) whether the Congress would have the power to stop a
war if the president ignored their authority. That case might
come before him, he argued, as if he knew something we didn't.
And it most certainly will if Bush is not stopped from making any
more such appointments. Roberts and his ilk will not legislate
from the bench (as if that were the boogie man to be feared). No,
instead they will UN-legislate from the bench, perhaps even to
remove the McCain language from American law by court order on the
grounds that it would interfere with the power of the president to
play God. Remember also that in his first day on the bench of the
high court Roberts left the sheep's clothing in his chambers to
ask aggressively why they should not overturn the TWICE-expressed
will of the people in the Oregon "Right to Die" case.

For all of these reasons we must demand that the next nominee to
the Supreme Court be a true moderate and a true nonpartisan. One
of the truly beautiful things about Special Counsel Patrick
Fitzgerald is that the American people can look at his work and
agree that it will be based entirely on the facts and the law.
Even opposing attorneys of those he has indicted must concede that
he is unwavering in his fairness and his integrity, favoring
neither side by any inherent bias. We can demand no less from the
next justice to be appointed to the Supreme Court.


If we all speak out, we can remove the Vice President from his
position as the torture czar. It's not as if he doesn't have
enough other black hats to wear; he's already serving in the
capacity of treason czar as it is. Sheriff Fitzgerald is working
on that last one. The rest is up to we the people.

Forward this email to everyone you know, and encourage its
posting on blogs and websites.

originally posted by The Pen to apfn-1

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