Cross posted from my diary earlier today on MyDD: http://www.mydd.com/…
John Edwards responded to Bush’s claim that his administration has not tortured terrorism suspects, despite the revelation of secret Justice Department memos authorizing the CIA’s harshest interrogation techniques including waterboarding and the use of frigid temperatures:
Pardon me, but I have my doubts that George Bush is finally being straight with us.
First, some background, followed by John Edwards’ full statement. Yesterday, two secret Justice Department legal opinions were disclosed in The New York Times
The New York Times reported on Thursday that the CIA was again holding prisoners at “black sites” overseas, and that the Justice Department under then-Attorney General Alberto Gonzales had issued a secret opinion in 2005 that endorsed the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the CIA.
“The ongoing existence of the CIA program is extremely troubling,” especially in light of the reported Justice Department opinion, said Elisa Massimino, Washington director of the advocacy group Human Rights First.
Citing unnamed officials, the Times said the 2005 memo for the first time explicitly authorized painful physical and psychological tactics including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.
A second Justice opinion was issued later in 2005, just as Congress was working on an anti-torture bill. That opinion declared that none of the CIA’s interrogation practices would violate the rules in the legislation banning “cruel, inhuman and degrading” treatment of detainees, The Times said, citing interviews with unnamed current and former officials.
Today, Bush proclaimed that Ameirca does not torture people:
Bush was referring to a report on two secret memos in 2005 that authorized extreme interrogation tactics against terror suspects. “This government does not torture people,” the president said.
Here is video of the White House briefing today:
In diplomatic language, John Edwards said “bullshit” to Bush’s lie.
“George Bush has a long record of trampling on the Constitution and failing to be straight with the American people. Yesterday we learned that — even after the Justice Department abandoned its defense of torture — it continued to write memos endorsing the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the CIA. Today, the president asserted that `we don’t torture.’ Pardon me, but I have my doubts that George Bush is finally being straight with us.
“As president, I will work to restore America’s moral authority in the world by upholding the rule of law and safeguarding our civil liberties. I reject the Bush Administration’s twisted logic justifying torture, release the legal opinions justifying it, and end the abuse of classification and legal privilege to hide un-American legal judgments. Saying no to torture will protect our troops and our values by upholding the Geneva Conventions anywhere American security forces, military or civilian, are engaged.”
I also have my doubts. America should not torture. We are not Nazis. It is simple right and wrong.
Here is a short video from a speech in August 2007 where John Edwards clearly says, “no more torture” It is amazing an American candidate for president even has to say this. What has happened to America?