Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Couple of quickies from today's Washington Briefing column

On the torture memo releases:

But today's coverage makes it clear that there are still a host of unresolved issues. Among them:

• Does President Bush still believe, as his 2002 memo said, that he has "the authority under the Constitution" to deny protections of the Geneva Conventions to some combatants?

• The memos describe Pentagon prohibitions against torture. But do the distinctions drawn between forceful interrogation tactics and torture meet the common-sense test? And what rules did the White House set for the CIA?

• Did the White House set a tone that led to the abuses at Abu Ghraib?

• What was the president's involvement in the deliberations on torture, beyond putting his name at the bottom of that one memo?

• And the debate within the administration, as illustrated most clearly by memos from the Justice Department, continued to rage long after Bush's memo. So how long did the issue of torture remain in play?

And some other things to keep in mind:

There's lots to read about the torture issue below. And keep scrolling to find out about these other White House headlines:

• A Washington Post reporter was questioned yesterday by the special prosecutor investigating the possibly illegal leak of a CIA employee's identity by Bush administration officials.

• The Associated Press yesterday sued for access to Bush's National Guard records.

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