Bush’s push for his proposed terror legislation includes what the Bush administration calls interpretation of Geneva conventions that “are so vague that they leave interrogators open to prosecution for a wide variety of techniques.”
Bush said the Geneva Conventions’ Common Article 3 is vague and must be clarified to protect CIA interrogators from prosecution by other countries.
The Washington Post wrote in an editorial on Friday that Bush was basically lobbying for torture and that the CIA wants permission to interrogate detainees “with abusive practices that in the past have included induced hypothermia and ‘waterboarding,’ or simulated drowning.”
On Tuesday, the WSJ had an OP/ED about the possibility of “CIA agents be sued for protecting America with too much vigor,” which included a snarky dig against John Kerry. Kerry shot back at the WSJ with this letter to the editor:
Forget Jack Bauer
Insure CIA agents against a reckless administration, not terrorists’ lawsuits or my subpoenas.
BY JOHN KERRY
Thursday, September 14, 2006 12:01 a.m. EDT
Your Sept. 12 editorial “Jack Bauer Insurance” was a disservice not to me or to fictional characters like Jack Bauer, but to the very real CIA agents whose commitment to the truth didn’t fit the administration’s neoconservative agenda on Iraq, and to agents endangered by reckless administration policies.
It’s been reported that CIA officers refused to be trained in the administration’s controversial interrogation techniques, and in at least one instance these techniques yielded questionable information aimed at pleasing the interrogators. The Supreme Court, not Democrats, ruled administration detainee policies out of bounds, and it was the outrage of Republican senators that forced the administration to apply the Geneva Convention to enemy prisoners in order to best protect captured Americans.
Iraq has been an endless abuse of the CIA. CIA operative Tyler Drumheller said top White House officials simply brushed off the warning that “reliable intelligence” suggested Saddam Hussein had no weapons of mass destruction, saying they were “no longer interested” in intelligence. Former CIA operative Paul Pillar wrote that “intelligence was misused publicly to justify decisions already made.”
Former CIA case officer Jim Marcinkowski argued the Valerie Plame leak hurt “the credibility of our case officers when they try to convince an overseas contact that their safety is of primary importance.” Former CIA agent Larry Johnson, a registered Republican, said it “speaks volumes” that President Bush held no one accountable for the leak of an agent’s identity. Forgotten is President George H.W. Bush’s admonition that those who expose our agents are “the most insidious of traitors.” CIA officers don’t need Jack Bauer insurance–they need insurance against the recklessness of this administration.
Mr. Kerry, a Democrat, is the junior U.S. senator from Massachusetts.
The bottom-line here and we all get it, is that Bush is trying to cover his own ass and enable the CIA to utilize interrogation techniques beyond the bounds of the Geneva Conventions. The WaPo’s editorial was on the on the money calling this “A Defining Moment for America.” Bush isn’t really against torture, especially when it serves his own purpose.