Sunday, July 31, 2005

Law, Truth, and the Bush Administration

Michael Isikoff reports in the current Newsweek's Periscope section that an FBI agent told an FBI lawyer in a memo written three years ago that the military's plans to have high-value detainees interrogated in countries widely known to practice torture, via the C.I.A. "extraordinary renditions" program, could open the government to charges of conspiracy to violate the 1996 U.S. Anti-Torture Law. George W. Bush signed the classified directive authorizing extraordinary renditions after 9/11; and more than 100 Arab and Muslim detainees have been sent to torture-practicing countries for interrogation under that directive.

And an article in Time magazine reveals that unnamed officials in the White House may have known that Valerie Plame and Joseph Wilson were husband and wife weeks before the publication of Wilson's July 6, 2003, op-ed disputing the validity of the Niger-Iraq connection. Time delicately points out the significance of this news:

That prospect increases the chances that White House official Karl Rove and others learned about Plame from within the Administration rather than from media contacts. Rove has told investigators he believes he learned of her directly or indirectly from reporters, according to his lawyer.

TalkLeft has excellent coverage of both the FBI agent's memo story and the Rove/Plame/White House story. They really should be viewed as a single, connected story; they are separate examples of one unarguable reality: that the Bush administration has no respect for the law or for the truth, if respect for either interferes with what they want.

No comments: