Another Admission: Okay, So We Tortured
By Scott Horton
Originally published january 14, 2009 on No Comment at Harpers.org
Susan J. Crawford served as general counsel to the Army for Ronald Reagan and as Dick Cheney’s inspector general while he was secretary of defense, then landed an appointment to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. According to Professor David Glazier, a prominent practitioner and scholar of the court’s jurisprudence, she was the most reliable and consistent pro-government vote on that court, authoring less than her fair share of opinions and focusing instead on dissents in which she carped at her colleagues for occasionally ruling in favor of service members. In short, she was the perfect vehicle for Bush-style justice for the Gitmo detainees.
[...]Crawford, 61, said the combination of the interrogation techniques, their duration and the impact on Qahtani’s health led to her conclusion. “The techniques they used were all authorized, but the manner in which they applied them was overly aggressive and too persistent. . . . You think of torture, you think of some horrendous physical act done to an individual. This was not any one particular act; this was just a combination of things that had a medical impact on him, that hurt his health. It was abusive and uncalled for. And coercive. Clearly coercive. It was that medical impact that pushed me over the edge” to call it torture, she said.
This admission is important for several reasons. First, it is an acknowledgement of criminal conduct by the administration by one of its own team. Second, Crawford very properly abandons the absurd legalisms of the Justice Department’s Office of Legal Counsel which essentially boil down to “if the president authorizes it, that means it’s legal.” Third, she has apparently evaluated “torture” on the basis of the totality of the treatment meted out by interrogators and jailers to the prisoner, not by segmenting and evaluating each individual technique applied. That is what the law requires, and what the Justice Department studiously ignores, fully aware of the inevitable conclusion to which it would lead. It adds up to another admission of high crimes. The case for criminal accountability continues to build. http://harpers.org/archive/2009/01/hbc-90004186
Nancy "No Impeachment" Pelosi: "If somebody had a crime that the President had committed, that would be a different story...."
"JUAN GONZALEZ: ...Congressman Kucinich, your response to her take on the situation with impeachment?"
"REP. DENNIS KUCINICH: Well, now that I"ve heard that the Speaker is looking for evidence that crimes may have been committed, I certainly want to direct her attention to the thirty-five articles of impeachment that I presented, which assert quite directly that crimes have been committed,...There are many examples of laws that have been broken." [End DN! http://www.democracynow.org/2008/7/30/house_speaker_nancy_pelosi_defends_her]
We have the goods. Do we have a democratic republic, or feudalism?
"[F]eudalism in this sense is... based on the relation between lords and the peasants who worked their own land and that of the lord. The peasants owed labour service to the lords, who provided military protection and also had extensive police, judicial, and other rights over the peasants. In this view, feudalism came to encompass all aspects of social organization and was characterized as a system that was both oppressive and hierarchical...feudalism involves the exchange of allegiance for a grant of land (fief) between two people, usually men, of noble status." [Encyclopedia Britannica 2008]
Congress and its committees are ours, not fiefs of either party.