Saturday, August 28, 2004

Abuses at interrogations

Nice to see that the NYT changed the headline of this article from “Rumsfeld Denies Details of Abuses at Interrogations” in my print copy to the more accurate “Rumsfeld Denies Abuses Occurred at Interrogations” online. Actually it’s worse: he falsely claimed in an interview that the Schlesinger report said that the torture was unrelated to interrogations (i.e., was just for fun, not part of a policy). The report says exactly the opposite in its first paragraph, so 2 days after it was made public, he hadn’t gotten that far. Chimpy’s reading habits are rubbing off on his subordinates. Or his lying habits.

Of course, Rummy was on his vacation. 60 dead US soldiers this month, Rummy doesn’t get to HAVE a vacation.

Speaking of abuses that occurred at interrogations, Bush only allowed the NYT to interview him if he was surrounded by staff, ready to jump in, as McClellan did when Bush refused to believe in the existence of a government report accepting the reality of global warming. Still, what stands out is that Bush was evasive in responding to questions, even for Bush. 3½ years in, the number of questions he simply can’t answer has increased exponentially, especially if he’s unwilling to admit any mistakes. Some of those evasions:
Asked whether the 2 torture reports have changed his opinion that it was the work of a few individuals, he said (twice), “I think we ought to look at all their recommendations seriously.”

Asked how he might have fought the war differently: “David, what I am now doing is leading us forward.”

Asked what he means when he says he won’t “tolerate” a nuclear Iran or North Korea: “It means we’ll try diplomacy as a first resort.”

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