Thursday, June 10, 2004

Houston, We Have A Problem

You know it's getting bad when even the editorial pages from newspapers in Texas are critical of the Bush administration. But that is apparently the mood that has permeated even the Bush-friendly confines of the Houston Chronicle. Here are some excerpts from an editorial appearing in yesterday's Chronicle:

"The United States' moral authority to call for the rule of law and respect for human rights has been undermined by legal machinations the Bush administration undertook to justify torturing prisoners taken in the war on terror.

Administration officials have attempted to downplay the significance of a March 6, 2003, Justice Department memorandum that concluded that, as commander in chief in time of war, President George W. Bush is bound neither by federal law nor the tenets of the Geneva Conventions that ban torture as a means of extracting information from detainees.

Most Americans will have difficulty believing that this memo, prepared for Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and first disclosed by the Wall Street Journal, and others were merely ruminations on the law not meant to guide how prisoners would be treated in Iraq, Afghanistan and at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba." [emphasis added]


And then:

"The memos were obviously concocted to defend acts that are clearly beyond the bounds of a civilized nation.

The memos support the view that the prisoner abuses uncovered at the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq were not merely the grave mistakes of a few soldiers, but resulted from policies formed at the highest levels of government. They strengthen concerns about how detainees at Guantanamo and in Afghanistan are being treated."

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