Conservatives Awake

For the first time, a conservative publication tackles the scandal of the American torture regime. Money quote from James Bovard in the "American Conservative":

The Bush team is exploiting fears on national security to practically guarantee the use of tortured confessions. The Justice Department has asked a federal judge to prohibit defendant Majid Khan, a former Catonsville, Md. resident who was nabbed in Pakistan, from revealing to anyone -even his defense attorney -the interrogation methods he endured. A Justice Department spokeswoman claimed that letting Khan discuss his interrogation with his lawyer “is inadequate to protect unique and potentially highly classified information that is vital to our country’s ability to fight terrorism.” Thus, the feds can use whatever Khan said against him while hiding the methods that made him squeal.

The MCA creates procedural biases akin to a 1938 Moscow show trial. Defense attorneys can “challenge the use of hearsay information obtained through coercive interrogations in distant countries only if they can prove it is unreliable,” the Washington Post noted.  But it will be almost impossible to disprove an accusation when a defense lawyer is not allowed to question or perhaps even know who made the charge.

One day, Rumsfeld will be as leery of taking vacations in England as Pinochet was.