George W. Bush’s presidency, in 24 charts. Good news for George W.
Bush! His approval rating is the highest it's been in years, just as he's set to open his presidential library at Southern Methodist University. Forty-seven percent of Americans approve of Bush, up from 33 percent when he left office as the economy cratered. Bad news for George W. Bush! Bush Admits Approving Torture. When you are trying to acclimate a people to a new normal - in this case, the new normal means routine torture, with international law, and the law more generally, all subject to subordination and disregard as "military necessity" dictates - you start out by denying that you would even think of doing such terrible, illegal things as torture.
For a long time, Bush claimed that he had approved an "alternative set of procedures" that were not, heaven forbid, torture, but that the exact details he couldn't reveal because it would give aid and comfort to the enemy. He assured the American people that all the relevant laws and procedures were being safeguarded. Remember his famous lines? "Extraordinary rendition" and other terms of our times. English is such a wonderfully malleable language, especially the American branch of it.
New words, phrases, even recombined bits and pieces of words pour out of our mouths (or our computers) and -- poof -- before you know it, they're in our lives and the dictionaries. Our new realities -- whether the Internet (after all, I'm a "blogger" less than three years after I discovered the Internet existed) or George Bush's global crusade, his "war on terrorism" (itself a new combination of words) -- produce new vocabularies all the time, or drive more specialized vocabularies into wider usage. "Blowback," to take but one example, was an old CIA term for "the unintended consequences of covert operations [to overthrow foreign governments], kept secret from the American public.
" All this is my way of saying that, in the course of my daily readings, I'm often taken aback by terms -- new to me at least -- which seem to be bleeding out of various dark nooks and crannies of this administration. CIA Tactics Endorsed In Secret Memos. CIA Tactics Endorsed In Secret Memos Waterboarding Got White House Nod By Joby Warrick Washington Post Staff Writer Wednesday, October 15, 2008 The Bush administration issued a pair of secret memos to the CIA in 2003 and 2004 that explicitly endorsed the agency's use of interrogation techniques such as waterboarding against al-Qaeda suspects -- documents prompted by worries among intelligence officials about a possible backlash if details of the program became public.
The classified memos, which have not been previously disclosed, were requested by then-CIA Director George J. Tenet more than a year after the start of the secret interrogations, according to four administration and intelligence officials familiar with the documents. Although Justice Department lawyers, beginning in 2002, had signed off on the agency's interrogation methods, senior CIA officials were troubled that White House policymakers had never endorsed the program in writing. Timeline: How Obama Compares to Bush on Torture, Surveillance and Detention. Rumsfeld in heated conversation with Al Jazeera. The war we can't win—By A.J. Bacevich. When democracy fails. How the Bush Family Makes a Killing from George's Presidency.
Have been on a blogging and vlogging hiatus for quite a few years, mainly focusing on working and very occasionally doing TV segments with the Manhattan Neighborhood Network.
But with all of this wild news lately, felt a rant (in the video above) was in order… Related URLs are given below. Guantanamo, Drone Strikes and the Non-War Terror War: Obama Speaks. Thinking About Torture: Or is it really all that it is cracked up to be? The hyper-political confirmation hearings of Attorney General nominee Alberto Gonzales are not the best jumping off point for high-level thinking about human behavior and values, but after several years of proceeding on automatic pilot the nation will take what it can get.
First, dispense with the word games. The various legal opinions the Bush administration turned out on what has broadly become known as the torture topic were concerned with one thing: making sure that the Bush administration's treatment of detainees could not be taken as a violation of the Geneva Convention. The convention exists to prevent mistreatment of prisoners of war. Bush Authorized Domestic Spying. President Bush signed a secret order in 2002 authorizing the National Security Agency to eavesdrop on U.S. citizens and foreign nationals in the United States, despite previous legal prohibitions against such domestic spying, sources with knowledge of the program said last night.
The super-secretive NSA, which has generally been barred from domestic spying except in narrow circumstances involving foreign nationals, has monitored the e-mail, telephone calls and other communications of hundreds, and perhaps thousands, of people under the program, the New York Times disclosed last night. The aim of the program was to rapidly monitor the phone calls and other communications of people in the United States believed to have contact with suspected associates of al Qaeda and other terrorist groups overseas, according to two former senior administration officials. Authorities, including a former NSA director, Gen. Michael V. The White House made no comment last night. CIA Acknowledges 2 Interrogation Memos - washingtonpost.com. After years of denials, the CIA has formally acknowledged the existence of two classified documents governing aggressive interrogation and detention policies for terrorism suspects, according to the American Civil Liberties Union.
But CIA lawyers say the documents -- memos from President Bush and the Justice Department -- are still so sensitive that no portion can be released to the public. The disclosures by the CIA general counsel's office came in a letter Friday to attorneys for the ACLU. The group had filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court in New York two years ago under the Freedom of Information Act, seeking records related to U.S. interrogation and detention policies. The lawsuit has resulted in the release of more than 100,000 pages of documents, including some that revealed internal debates over the policies governing prisoners held at the military detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
Friday's letter from John L. Dan Froomkin - Bush Gets His Way - washingtonpost.com. Pay no attention to the news stories suggesting that the White House caved in yesterday.
GRISWOLD v. CONNECTICUT, 381 U.S. 479 (1965) Britain Accused Over CIA’s Secret Torture Flights - Empire? - Global Policy Forum. UK airports are believed to be operational bases for two executive jets used by the CIA to carry out 'renditions' of terror suspects.
IndependentFebruary 10, 2005 Britain's intelligence agencies have been accused of helping America in a secret operation that is sending terror suspects to Middle Eastern countries where prisoners are routinely tortured and abused. Survey shows no tolerance for Torture. Survey shows no tolerance for Torture Enshrined in the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 5 states, "No one shall be subjected to torture or to cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment". Taking this as our theme, the Gallup International Millennium Survey asked people in countries representing more than 1.5 billion citizens of the world whether they felt this basic right was fully or partially respected in their own country, or not respected at all. Overwhelmingly, in the more sophisticated democracies of Western Europe and North America more than eight out of every ten believe that Human Rights in respect of torture are respected. The Swift Report: Good News for Gonzales: New Poll Shows Most Americans Think 'Some Torture' OK.
President Bush's candidate for attorney general, Alberto Gonzales, got a boost today with the release of a poll indicating that most Americans back his position on torture: it's ok to induce physical agony in individuals suspected of crimes, if it is for a good reason. Support for torture highest among viewers of Fox News Channel By Deanna Swift A poll released this week shows that a majority of Americans share the position of President Bush's nominee for attorney general when it comes to torture: it's ok when done for the right reasons. The Harris Poll - Two in Five U.S. Adults Believe that Torture of Prisoners by Americans Still Prevalent in Iraq and Afghanistan. FOX News Polls - Poll: Steady Support for Action Against Iraq. A majority of the public continues to support the United States taking military action to disarm Iraq and remove Saddam Hussein, and there is evidence of growing impatience for the action.
A FOX News poll conducted this week finds 71 percent of Americans support using U.S. forces to disarm Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and 20 percent oppose. ABCNEWS.com : Poll: Torture Methods Opposed. In U.S. Report, Brutal Details of 2 Afghan Inmates' Deaths. Weekly Standard: Against Rendition. Question: Mr. President, under the law, how would you justify the practice of renditioning, where U.S. agents . . .
[send] terror suspects abroad, taking them to a third country for interrogation? . . . Answer: . . . We operate within the law and we send people to countries where they say they're not going to torture the people. SO SPOKE PRESIDENT Bush at a press conference on April 28, 2005. Though the Central Intelligence Agency doesn't comment officially on the policy, it is one the Bush administration inherited from its predecessor, which used it principally against Osama bin Laden's al Qaeda. News / Boston Globe / Opinion / Op-ed / US must stop 'outsourcing' torture. By Edward J. Legalizing Torture. CIA prisoners 'tortured' in Arab jails. Outsourcing Torture: The Secret History of America's. American Amnesia: Extraordinary Rendition. Introduction of Legislation Prohibiting Extraordinary Rendition. Progress Report, 3/15/05: RENDITION, Extraordinarily Irresponsible. Extraordinary Rendition. Extraordinary rendition. The New Yorker: Fact - Outsourcing Torture.
Dojinterrogationmemo20020801.pdf (application/pdf Object) Torture Guidelines (washingtonpost.com)