So, the president admitted we’ve been holding more prisoners in foreign countries purely to evade the law. First he admitted Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11, now this. This might start a trend! Next thing you know, he’ll be coming clean about his drug history and the National Guard. From there heâ€™ll move up to talking about his relationship with Enron and Ken Lay, what went on in Cheneyâ€™s secret meetings, telling about the NSA program, admitting Iraq was a giant mistake and it was all his fault, that he messed up North Korea, that his tax cuts donâ€™t really help anyone who needs it, and â€“ ooo, Iâ€™d better stop, I do believe Iâ€™m getting the vapors.
The Saddam thing deserves a little more detailâ€¦
Q What did Iraq have to do with that?
THE PRESIDENT: What did Iraq have to do with what?
Q The attack on the World Trade Center?
THE PRESIDENT: Nothing, except for it’s part of — and nobody has ever suggested in this administration that Saddam Hussein ordered the attack.
Oh yes, no one has suggested it at all. Heaven forbid! Wherever would someone get the idea they were connected! Er, maybe from these non-stop justifications from your administration (and Lieberman of course)?
In semi-related news, the administration took back one of his trickiest moves.
At the same time, the Pentagon released a new Army Field Manual that requires humane treatment of all terrorism suspects and sets strict limits on interrogation techniques.
This oneâ€™s tricky unless youâ€™ve been following it. Remember how Bush fought and fought to be able to torture anyone at anytime in whatever way he pleased? Then the Senate spoiled his party at the end of 2005, by passing McCainâ€™s anti-torture bill by an overwhelming vote. First, Bush added the execrable signing statement which said he would follow the law unless he didnâ€™t feel like it. Then something else happened.
The bill passed the buck on a definition of torture. It refers to the standard set by the Army Field Manual, and extends that standard to the rest of the government. Well, right about then, the Pentagon puts out a new version of the Army Field Manual. And what do you know, but suddenly a whole bunch of stuff that used to be bad is now good. Ha, ha, gotcha Mr. McCain, put that in your pipe and smoke it! Checkmate!
So the news that the Army Field Manual has been revised so a bunch of stuff that used to be bad is now good, is good news. Itâ€™s a major retreat for the Administration.
Looks like this is getting above the radar. It seems obvious that yesterday’s news was not a retreat by Bush, but a dispute. The Pentagon is reducing torture, Bush wants more of it.