Category: torture

Mukasey moving to protect Bush on CIA tapes

The U.S. Department of Justice has decided to pursue a full criminal investigation into the destruction of the CIA interrogation tapes, according to Fox News.

Disappointing news, to say the least. Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey is a recent Bush appointee. Looks like he’s moving fast to preempt the Congressional and very public investigation of the matter. The AG has already made it clear he is not going to share certain details of his investigation with Congress, and at his confirmation hearings refused to say whether he thought waterboarding was torture.

Sounds like the administration cover-ups are continuing unabated. After all, a year is still plenty of time to indict somebody.

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Sun sets on Patriot Act

The U.S. Senate voted today not to extend the Patriot Act beyond the end of the year, when its sunset provisions kick in.

The act has been controversial since its inception soon after 9/11. Its provisions were designed to give law enforcement and investigative agencies more power to gather information on Americans suspected of having terrorist ties. Opponents have protested that the law was too intrusive and violated Americans’ right to privacy.

For a while I believed, with reservations, that the law was probably necessary to protect us from the enemy within our borders. However, it has become increasingly clear that when the law violates anyone’s rights, it violates us all. Compromising our freedoms in any way pushes us that much closer to being like the enemy.

I find in the situation some parallels with the (now former) U.S. position on torture. And I feel the same about both. We must not yield the moral high ground in our efforts to fight terrorism, or the terrorists will have succeeded in their goal of bringing down our way of life. They won’t need to attack us if we destroy ourselves from within.