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June 25, 2004
Tried. Betrayed.

I try to give almost everyone the benefit of the doubt. Especially if I disagree with them. I try to make certain I'm not being unfair.

So, when those on the Right were arguing that just because a "legal opinion" about what makes torture and what don't was solicited and prepared didn't prove that the Bush Administration had ordered or directed the use of torture, I agreed with them. Requesting an opinion is not the same as delivering an order.

But then, as happens so often when I give this Administration the benefit of the doubt, I found out that their hands weren't as clean as their supporters were hoping…or pretending.

Questions also remain about how the abuse of detainees at Abu Ghraib prison and elsewhere came about. The documents confirm that Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld approved a number of harsh interrogation techniques for use in Guantanamo in December 2002, including hooding, requiring nudity, placing prisoners in stress positions and using dogs. After military lawyers objected that these violated international law, Mr. Rumsfeld suspended their use a month later. But all these techniques, as well as the restricted practices now approved for Guantanamo, appeared in an interrogation policy issued for Iraq by command of Lt. Gen. Ricardo S. Sanchez in September 2003. Nearly word for word, the harsh methods detailed in memos signed by Mr. Rumsfeld -- which even administration lawyers considered violations of the Geneva Conventions -- were then distributed to interrogators at Abu Ghraib. The procedures in turn could be read to cover much of what is seen in the photographs that have scandalized the world. How did this spread of improper and illegal practices occur? The Bush administration has yet to offer a convincing answer -- or hold anyone accountable for it.

I'm tired of offering the benefit of the doubt and pretty much ready to start assuming that, should the Bush Administration wind up doing anything right, it's purely by accident.

(Which reminds me that I heard the Administration has, so far, spent $350M of the $15B Bush promised for AIDS. What's that? 2% or something?)

Posted by AnneZook at 07:32 AM


That is precisely what they're counting on. After all, it's easier to get forgiveness than it is permission. Most won't even remember the promise in the first place.

Posted by: Hal at June 25, 2004 09:46 PM

"I'm tired of offering the benefit of the doubt and pretty much ready to start assuming that, should the Bush Administration wind up doing anything right, it's purely by accident."

That sums up my own feelings well. The level of incompetence in this Administration is way beyond anything I've ever seen in any other Administration during my life. It's not merely a matter of them promoting policies I don't like, it's them being simply unable to get anything right. And it's clear now that many of the people serving in this Administration would enjoy being out and out fascists if only they thought they could get away with wearing the uniforms. Recent actions against the movie Farenheight 9-11 make clear that this Administration aims at a police state where all political expression is censored. This is a crew that will get away with as much as it thinks it can get away with.

Posted by: Lawrence Krubner at June 29, 2004 08:34 AM

I've been having the same feeling, Lawrence. It's not just that I disagree with what they're doing, it's that they do it all so badly that's driving me nuts.

Actually, the Right's activism against Farenheit 9/11 amused the heck out of me. Like the way they agitated against Bill Clinton's book...the more they shouted and screamed, the more free publicity they gave the project.

Posted by: Anne at July 2, 2004 01:04 PM