More Torture?

From Glenn Greenwald at Salon:

[Sen Dianne] Feinstein and [Sen Ron] Wyden are just two of the “senior Democratic lawmakers” who have “seemed reluctant in recent interviews to commit the new administration to following the Army Field Manual in all cases” — despite the fact that both Feinstein and Wyden said throughout the year that they emphatically favored such a measure and even co-sponsored legislation requiring it.

From the Times article:  “in an interview on Tuesday, Mrs. Feinstein indicated that extreme cases might call for flexibility.”  And:  “‘I think that you have to use the noncoercive standard to the greatest extent possible,’ she said, raising the possibility that an imminent terrorist threat might require special measures.”  Wyden’s comments were even worse:  

Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon, another top Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said he would consult with the C.I.A. and approve interrogation techniques that went beyond the Army Field Manual as long as they were “legal, humane and noncoercive.”  But Mr. Wyden declined to say whether C.I.A. techniques ought to be made public.

What makes this so notable is that, for the last year, Feinstein and Wyden were both insistent that the only way to end torture and restore America’s standing in the world was to require CIA compliance with the Army Field Manual — period.  But as long as George Bush was President, it was cheap and easy for Feinstein and Wyden to argue that, because they knew there was no chance it would ever happen.  As they well knew, they lacked the votes to override Bush’s inevitable veto of any such legislation.  So as long as Bush was President, it was all just posturing, strutting around demanding absolute anti-torture legislation they knew would never pass.  

Read the rest here

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