Breaking the Silence

I haven’t commented much on the US Attorney scandal because I haven’t been quite sure what to make of it. I’m rather annoyed at Boortz and his ilk dismissing this as a “non-scandal”. But the longer this goes, on, the more disturbing it gets.

First, I’m sick to death of hearing that the US Attorneys serve at the “pleasure” of the President. It’s a buzzword that’s driving up the fricking wall. He’s not a monarch, much as he has his supporters — his few remaining supporters — think that he is.

Second, I don’t think anything illegal was done here. But that doesn’t make it right. Lots of things are prefectly legal that ain’t right — American Idol, for example. I think it once again demonstrates the raw political machinations of this loathsome administration.

Third, we’ve found out that the Patriot Act gave the President the authority to appoint USA’s without congressional approval. This needs to be unpassed fast. And the fuck was that for, anyway? Is Al-Quaeda going to strike because Bush couldn’t get his partisan attorneys appointed?

Fourth, we’re getting a nasty nasty look into the Bush justice department at it ain’t pretty. Read the whole thing. One of the fired attorneys was gotten rid of despite an exemplary record because he wouldn’t prosecute pornographers, was saving his ammo in the War on Drugs for big dealers and was concerned about FBI interrogation techniques.

Some interrogation techniques “may be unsettling” for jurors in video or audio form, wrote the BATF, and therefore shouldn’t be recorded. Perfectly “acceptable” techniques may not “come across to lay persons as a proper means of obtaining information,” wrote the FBI, and recording those techniques could sway a jury—to which an unknown official added the handwritten annotation: “So we want to hide the truth? Don’t [sic] want jury to reach its own judgment?”

Apparently not. The Justice Department ultimately sided with the law enforcement agencies, noting that it’s best to hide “unsettling” interrogation techniques from juries, even when it was those techniques that extracted the confession.

As Greenwald explains, this is particularly disturbing, because interrogation techniques would only come up in those cases in which a defendant’s confession was in dispute. And in those cases, the agents would almost certainly already be asked about their techniques at trial. The very purpose of a video, then, would be to determine who’s telling the truth.

You know what? Now that I’ve typed out all my thoughts, I am angry. And I think that if the American people become familiar with this — if our lazy worthless media does their fucking job — Americans will get angry about it. (And despite Boortz’s bitching, 72% of Americans think this should be investigated, according to a poll I can’t find at the moment).

It’s just another example of the incompetence, political viciousness, authoritarianism and deception that has increasingly defined this Administration.

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