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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Who Will Tell The People?

by digby

As you well informed blog readers all know by now, last week ABC broke an interesting little story. It was about how Condi Rice, Dick Cheney, Alberto Gonzales, Colin Powell, George Tenent, John Ashcroft and other Bush "Principals" all gathered in regular meetings in the White House to discuss and approve of the various torture methods being used against prisoners held by the United States in the War On Terror. ABC interviewed the president a couple of days later and asked him if he was aware of these meetings and he said he was not only aware of them, but that he'd approved of them. Moreover, he specifically said he had no regrets about what was done to Khalid Sheik Mohammed, who we know was tortured with simulated drowning --- also known as "waterboarding" --- which is considered by the entire civilized world to be torture.

As I said, we know all this. The blogs have been writing about it non-stop since last week, stunned and appalled at the picture of these high level public officials sitting around watching power point presentations about the efficacy of sexual humiliation and CIA operatives "acting out" various torture techniques for their approval. (According to ABC's source, they went farther than the Yoo memos and mandated that certain techniques could be used in tandem to make the "enhanced interrogations" even more painful.) At the CIA's request, they explicitly signed off unanimously on each instance of torture --- torture which included many of the techniques described here by former POWs of North Vietnam. POW's like John McCain.

They were aware that what they were doing was wrong, immoral. Attorney General John Ashcroft warned them that by doing such things, right in the White House, "history would not be kind." But they did it. The president approved it. ABC reported it. And nobody else in the media cares.More...

Since the national news is obsessed with the Pope's visit, "bitterness", "duck blinds" and how and what Democrats drink in diners and bars, they are not inclined to pursue this. Or maybe they just think the top echelon of the Bush administration personally approving specific torture techniques is business as usual by now. It isn't.

There was a time when many members of the press and many citizens of this country would rend their garments about what they would "tell the children" about sex in the White House. Oddly, they seem to be unconcerned about what to tell the children about torture being devised and approved in the same place. That tells you something about the provincial Village that runs our politics.

So, let's see if we can go around them and arouse some interest in the rest of the country, shall we? Jane and the Firedoglake crew have put together a letter writing campaign to local papers to try to get them to look into this story and report it to their readers. Obviously, the elites of the national press aren't going to do it.

If you have a minute and can write a short letter on this subject, we may be able to get some regular journalists and editors who aren't so inured to Bushian depravity to help inform the public about what has been done in their name.

You know what to do