Archive for October 5th, 2007

By Scott Shane, David Johnston and James Risen in Washington

Reports of unacceptable interrogation techniques led to a shake up in policy and staff at the Justice Department in 2004. After Alberto Gonzales’ arrival, the public started hearing things had changed, but new reports claim that things remained the same — or worsened.

When the Justice Department publicly declared torture “abhorrent” in a legal opinion in December 2004, the Bush administration appeared to have abandoned its assertion of nearly unlimited presidential authority to order brutal interrogations.

But soon after Alberto R. Gonzales’s arrival as attorney general in February 2005, the Justice Department issued another opinion, this one in secret. It was a very different document, according to officials briefed on it, an expansive endorsement of the harshest interrogation techniques ever used by the Central Intelligence Agency.

The new opinion, the officials said, for the first time provided explicit authorization to barrage terror suspects with a combination of painful physical and psychological tactics, including head-slapping, simulated drowning and frigid temperatures.

Mr. Gonzales approved the legal memorandum on “combined effects” over the objections of James B. Comey, the deputy attorney general, who was leaving his job after bruising clashes with the White House. Disagreeing with what he viewed as the opinion’s overreaching legal reasoning, Mr. Comey told colleagues at the department that they would all be “ashamed” when the world eventually learned of it.

Read the rest of the article at Spiegel Online

And if you still think “they” don’t like us because of our freedoms and lifestyle, we think you need to open your eyes and look at what your government is doing in your name.

 

A new poll indicates that a vast majority of the Americans are doubtful about the US administration’s ability to solve Iraq’s crisis.

According to New York Times/CBS News poll, 95 percent of US citizens mistrust the way the Bush administration handles the Iraq war.

Only 5 percent of the respondent said they could still trust Bush’s policy on the controversial war in Iraq.

The poll also reflects that 71 percent of the Americans believe officials must be flexible to reach a compromise on the withdrawal of troops from Iraq.

The poll shows approximately two third of the Americans believe that the US must reduce the number of its troops in Iraq or completely withdraw them from the country.

Sixty-four percent said they support a plan by the Democrats to set a timetable for the troops’ pullout by 2008.

From PressTV.com