Wednesday, January 19, 2005

His understanding

Alberto Gonzales has answered more questions in writing, no more satisfactorily than he did in Senate testimony. Torture bad, still won’t define it, does say that techniques which would violate the 8th Amendment ban on cruel and unusual punishment if they were used in the US might be ok if we used them abroad, not that we’d ever do that, unless we did, and the CIA can do whatever it wants. And this, on rendition, with the weasel phrases highlighted: “It is my understanding that the United States does not render individuals to countries where we believe it is more likely than not they will be tortured.”

Though several Bushies have been asked about waterboarding, none will say a word against it.

To return yet again to Bush’s “accountability moment” line: I’ve said before that Bush’s life is marked by periodic declarations of clean-slate moments, when everything is supposed to have changed, and everything he did before is supposed not to matter: going teetotal and Jesusy at age 40, 9/11, etc. The accountability moment is another one of these.

Condi says the solution to North Korea’s nuclear problem is 6-party talks which will tell NK, “If you intend to a be part of the international system, you have got to give up your nuclear weapons programs.” When has North Korean ever shown an interest in being part of the international system, whatever that might be?

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