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Tortured Shame

During his confirmation hearing in January of 2005, then-Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales was asked by Sen. Russ Feingold his stance on memos which had been circulating that suggested that the Bush administration could disregard long standing laws governing the use of torture. In response, Gonzales stated categorically that those memos had been withdrawn and rejected by the executive branch.

After the scandal at Abu Ghraib, the issue of torture was thrust into the limelight and this "categorical rejection" was seen as a way to assuage critic's concerns. Disavowing the infamous torture memos went along way toward backing up the Bush administration's claims that the US does not condone torture.

Of course as has become customary with the Bushies, while they were running away from one memo, they issued another that was even worse.
When the Justice Department publicly declared torture "abhorrent" in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

More via Meme. I'd have to agree with resigned Deputy Attorney General James B. Comey who is quoting as saying that the Justice Department would be "ashamed" when the world learned of these overreaching legal opinions. We should all be ashamed that an issue as "abhorrent" as torture is even subject to debate. And given the lack of any contrition on the part of the Bushies thus far, the only shame likely to ever be evident will be history's.

(Filed at State of the Day and All Spin Zone)

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