The Freedom To Torture

Dan Froomkin is surely right that the president's vow to veto legislation that simply reasserts the existing law, and upholds the Geneva Conventions is a clear assertion of the right of the president to engage in the following acts:

"forcing detainees to be naked, perform sexual acts, or pose in a sexual manner; placing hoods or sacks over detainees' heads or duct tape over their eyes; beating, shocking, or burning detainees; threatening them with military dogs; exposing them to extreme heat or cold; conducting mock executions; depriving them of food, water, or medical care; and waterboarding."

Bush is now fully owning Abu Ghraib. That, I guess, is one helpful result of flushing out what this president has done. At the time, of course, he expressed shock at the techniques exposed by the photographs at Abu Ghraib. Now he is declaring them legal and necessary. They are not legal - and the president operating under the rule of law cannot simply invent or reinvent what is or is not the law. But of course, he is not operating under the rule of law. He is operating under the rules of the Decider.