With the Democratic leadership continuing to block any impeachment effort or any serious effort to hold officials liable for the U.S. torture program, Congress was free to hold another bizarre hearing today to calmly discussed our use of torture. Even though current Attorney General continues to evade the question, former Attorney General acknowledged and defended water boarding.
This is not the first hearing where the value of our use of torture was addressed as a routine matter of discussion, click here. Indeed, we have now gotten to the point where we openly compare our acts of torture with those of other nations, click here.
Thus, it was no surprise to see members bantering about on the use of a war crime today like it was some chicken subsidy going to mark up.
For his part, Ashcroft fulfilled his stereotype as more general and attorney. When asked if he felt that other nations could legitimately waterboard our own soldiers when captured, Ashcroft did not contest that possibility. Instead, he gave a non-answer: “Well, my subscription to these memos, and my belief that the law provides the basis for these memos persisted even in the presence of my son serving two tours of duty overseas in the Gulf area as a member of our armed forces,.” Some could easily read that response as affirming that it would be permissible to waterboard our own soldiers when captured.
With the International Red Cross informing the Administration that high officials could be tried for war crimes over our torture program, here, many of us are left with this out-of-body sensation in watching these hearings unfold. Just yesterday, Speaker Pelosi reaffirmed that (no matter how strong the evidence might be that President Bush committed crimes, including war crimes, in office) she would not allow impeachment proceedings to begin. So, instead, we just sit around and calmly discuss war crimes like some interesting factoids and conversation points.
For the full story, click here.