Bush Offers Fear Itself
The New York Times puts in perspective. New York mayor Fiorello LaGuardia read the funnies to cheer up New Yorkers during a newspaper strike. FDR had fireside chats to boost morale during the depression. FDR also reminded us, “There is nothing to fear but fear itself.” This president tries to scare the bejesus out of us. When President Bush announced that he vetoed the 2008 intelligence budget he didn’t level with the American people.
- Mr. Bush told the nation that (the bill) “would take away one of the most valuable tools in the war on terror – the C.I.A. program to detain and question key terrorist leaders and operatives.”
- That is simply not true. Nothing in the bill shuts down the C.I.A. interrogation program. It just requires the C.I.A.’s interrogators to follow the rules already contained in the Army field manual on prisoners.
- The manual does not stop interrogators from questioning prisoners aggressively. It simply forbids the use of techniques that are regarded by most civilized people as abuse and torture, including sexual abuse, electric shocks, mock executions and the infamous form of simulated drowning known as waterboarding.
- (CIA spokesman Mark Mansfield) wrote that the field manual is too confining, that there are interrogation techniques the C.I.A. wants to use but won’t talk about. He said they are necessary and approved by the Justice Department and the intelligence committees in Congress.
- …the chairman of the Senate intelligence committee, John Rockefeller IV of West Virginia, disagreed strongly. He said the veto itself would hurt intelligence-gathering “in the name of preserving a separate C.I.A. interrogation program that Congress has determined is not necessary and, in fact, counterproductive.”
- Mr. Bush said the C.I.A. program helped “prevent a number of attacks…”
- …Mr. Rockefeller said he had “heard nothing” to suggest that was true. He also said any information the C.I.A. collected could have been obtained through legal methods.
Copyright 2008 Liberaland