Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Torturous arguments

Posted By on Tue, Aug 25, 2009 at 11:45 AM

When you’re talking about the law, you have to be very specific. That’s what Attorney General Eric Holder is doing by specifically targeting certain reports of torture by CIA interrogators for further review. Specifics, though, don’t seem to be on the agenda, at least not yet, for those who oppose Holder’s decision. Former Bush spokesperson Ari Fleischer said Holder’s decision is “disgusting,” and that CIA interrogators were “the people who kept us safe.” Other conservative pundits claim the “prosecution of patriots” will “harm our national security.”

OK, can you guys be a wee bit more specific? First, how exactly did choking a man repeatedly, threatening to kill another man’s family, and menacing others with guns or power drills “keep us safe”? And how did those actions make those men “patriots”? Please be very specific.

The same goes for the claim that Holder’s move “harms our national security.” How? All Holder is doing at this point is asking a prosecutor to review the evidence to see if the Dept. of Justice may want to then start an investigation. To listen to his critics, you’d think Holder was burning the flag and giving nuclear secrets to bin Laden. So, again, can the Attorney General’s critics please be more specific? Specifically how does reviewing evidence of possible torture harm our national security? No bumpersticker slogans, please — be specific.

The one person who’s telling it like it is, albeit in an unintentional way, is former VP Dick Cheney, who said the CIA interrogators "deserve our gratitude." I don’t know about the rest of us, but they certainly deserve Cheney’s gratitude. It’s widely recognized that it was his ideas and his office that pushed hard for using torture in the first place. If Holder wasn’t reviewing evidence about the interrogators, he could be coming after Cheney, so it’s easy to understand why the Veep feels grateful.

Hey, what's the big deal about a little torture?
  • Hey, what's the big deal about a little torture?

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