Sunday, February 19, 2006


The Sunday Times of London reported
this past Sunday that the CIA fired their top counter-terrorism official for lack of enthusiasm and support for actions our President insists he has the right to order, but doesn't:
Vincent Cannistraro, a former head of counter-terrorism at the agency, said: “It is not that Grenier wasn’t aggressive enough, it is that he wasn’t ‘with the programme’. He expressed misgivings about the secret prisons in Europe and the rendition of terrorists.”

Grenier also opposed “excessive” interrogation, such as strapping suspects to boards and dunking them in water, according to Cannistraro.

Further down in the article, it's reported that Porter Goss, CIA Director, is worried about leaks, as in, those things we say we don't do that we do do and our ability to do do what we say we don't do is endangered by people leaking information that we do do what we say we don't.

Many on the Right are apoplectic that more shots from Abu Ghraib have been released, arguing that it's old news rehashed to re-embarrass the Bush Administration. This misses the point. If in fact it's old news, the Director of the CIA would not be firing his head of counter-terrorism for opposing tactics displayed in the Abu Ghraib photos since they wouldn't be happening now. And since Goss's anger at Grenier is not because he objects but because he leaked, if it was old news - if it wasn't occuring now - there would be nothing for Grenier to leak.

The Bush Administration, slow to respond to the destruction of a major American city, slow to report that the Vice President shot a man, responded angrily and within minutes to the United Nations' call to close Guantanamo, a base whose primary and elemental asset is that it is not on US soil and is not held to US laws. They are far more interest in preventing reportage of torture than they are in stopping torture, in which they have no interest. They are working harder at making sure you don't hear about torture than they are working to stop the torture itself.

What's distressing though: this is old news. I said to myself, another post about torture? What can be said that I hadn't said here and here and here and here and here and here and....? What needs to be remembered is that in torture, as in domestic spying, as in permanent tax cuts, as in all the goals of Bushco and the Right, these are just launch pads that, once secured as status quo, serve as the baseline for worse torture, more domestic surveillance, more tax cuts which, once secured, serve as the baseline for worse and worse and worse..... And the key to establishing a status quo is to make the awful acceptable, make the newsworthy a snore.


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