Haynes: "Take The Gloves Off"

File000

There's new evidence that Donald Rumsfeld specifically authorized the torture of John Walker Lindh, through his general counsel, William J. Haynes II. The biggest thing I glean from the Cheney series in the WaPo is how early and decisively, Cheney and Rumsfeld decided that this war would be won by torture. No war ever has, but they knew better. More to the point: this issue was never seriously debated in an open and honest fashion in the White House. It was simply done - and done in a way that circumvented the law, the other responsible parties in the administration, and the constitution, under a philosophy that there are no constraints on executive power in wartime. Wartime, it's important to remember, is now permanent. The powers that Cheney has seized apply permanently and to anyone in the United States. There is no oversight and no law - just raw executive power. It is what America was founded to resist. And it is a sign of American decline that the American people have simply accepted the end of their most basic liberty with a shrug of indifference.