Gonzales Policy Doesn’t Bind, Unless it Does

That is it would have, if it had, but it didn’t, depending upon who and when it was supposed to, if it did at all, which probably isn’t likely whenever that question was appropriate to ask.

Is that clear, Senator?

Umm, well, let’s see if this makes it easier. In the 2002 directive, signed by President Bush—the one that pledged the humane treatment of prisoners in American custody—officers of the CIA and other non-military personnel fell outside the bounds of the directive. Okay, I guess that means all those CIA case officers and all the “consultants” the Pentagon hired to fight their war could torture whoever the hell they wanted. Umm, yes Senator.

But of course the president is clearly opposed to torture, clearly opposed by policy and the CIA and other nonmilitary personnel are fully bound by that policy. That’s what Gonzales said. So, the directive says outside the bounds and the policy says bound, is that it, Mr. Gonzales?

Umm, yes.

Mr. Gonzales, would you define torture for us, as you understand it?

Umm, no Senator.

Well folks, Senator Edward Kennedy got a few days reprieve in confirming this latest embarrassment to the office of Attorney General but it looks like it’s going to happen on the 24th and that’s Monday. Whether that’s a step up or down from the Ashcroft tenure is anybody’s guess . . .

. . . but, if it waddles like a duck . . .

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