Wednesday, June 23, 2004


Why do I feel like these two things are related

From today's Whitehouse Briefing in the Washington Post. This is on the press briefing that Alberto Gonzales gave on the release of the torture memos yesterday:

"Q Judge, I wanted to follow on what Suzanne and Ed are asking you. I think people here are looking for more specifics about the President's actual involvement, other than signing his name, to this February document. Can you be more specific about how many meetings did he engage in with you to discuss this? Did you put together a memo yourself, because there isn't one here, that would have preceded his signature on his own? Was there a meeting that involved the Vice President? Can you just give us some more idea, because the President has said we should feel comforted, but I'm not sure there's a lot of specifics here about his interest, his personal interest.

"JUDGE GONZALES: I'm not going to get into a discussion about the internal deliberations of the White House. I can say that during this period of time there was a great deal of debate, over a period of days, maybe a period of a couple weeks, when the presidential determination was made, all the agencies had actually weighed-in very strongly.

"Q With the President, personally?

"JUDGE GONZALES: I believe so. But the equities of all the agencies were presented to the President, and they were before the President as he made his decision.

"Q And who did that, you?

"JUDGE GONZALES: Again, I'm not going to talk about --

"Q Well, wait, I'm not sure I understand, why is that a difficult thing to discuss?

"JUDGE GONZALES: It's not a difficult thing to discuss, it's just one that I don't choose to discuss.

"Q Why?

"JUDGE GONZALES: I just don't.

"Q Why wouldn't that be helpful?

"JUDGE GONZALES: We normally don't talk about the internal deliberations within the White House. I don't think that's appropriate."

Set aside the dodge by Mr. Gonzales...

And now from our friends in the British press:

Duncan Campbell and Suzanne Goldenberg uncork a special report for the British paper, the Guardian: "Inside America's Secret Afghan Gulag." The opening lines:

 'They said this is America . . . if a soldier orders you to take off your clothes, you must obey'

We know about Guant√°namo and Abu Ghraib but until now Bagram and America's secret network of Afghan jails have come under little scrutiny. In a major investigation, Duncan Campbell and Suzanne Goldenberg discovered a familiar pattern of violent abuse and sexual humiliation

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