Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Say WHAT???

According to the Washington Post, "Evidence from Waterboarding Could be Used in Military Trials":

"The top legal adviser for the military trials of Guantanamo Bay detainees told Congress yesterday that he cannot rule out the use of evidence derived from the CIA's aggressive interrogation techniques, including waterboarding, a tactic that simulates drowning.

"Air Force Brig. Gen. Thomas W. Hartmann, who oversees the prosecutors who will try the detainees at military commissions, said that while "torture" is illegal, he cannot say whether waterboarding violates the law. Nor would he say that such evidence would be barred at trial."

It was bad enough when the USG practiced waterboarding, allegedly to gain "actionable intelligence" in extreme cases, in violation of international and domestic law. But out and out claiming it is defensible as a means of gathering evidence for military trials must constitute some kind of bizarre tipping point.

What is the deal with this guy? Is he actually representing the policy of the USG or has just committed a political and legal blunder that will cost him his career? Let's hope the latter: distancing itself quickly from this argument and seeking the Hartmann's resignation would seem to be a no-brainer for the Bush Administration.

Comments on this article from the Post blog suggest such a move would have widespread support:

"This filthy sonofabitch should be drummed out of the military on his totalitarian fascist derriere. Even Republican Lindsay Graham can't stand him."

"With your support of using "evidence" obtained by torture you have smeared America, our constitution and our honor with your feces."

"God help this country. Can someone help me out with what to tell my kid about this, about what this country stands for?"
In reponse to that last, tell your kid this country stands for speaking out when your leaders predictably become corrupted by power. We as a people are not defined by the barbarism of our government's practices, so long as we actively oppose it. Let's hope the Senate Judiciary Committee remembers this.

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