Thursday, February 03, 2005

Watch what we do, not what we say

Remember back when the Abu Ghraib prisoner-abuse scandal surfaced? The Bush administration mantra was that this would provide the world with a window into our process, that we, as a democracy, would deal with the question of our conduct forthrightly and justly. Rummie said this in his Senate testimony repeatedly.

Well, it's almost a year later and what has happened? A few "bad apples" have been tried and convicted of various maldeeds--with coverage of the trials utterly absent from our media--but none of the higher-ups punished, not even chastised. Including, of course, Gonzales, author of the torture memo that probably formed the basis for our barbarous conduct.

And as to the window on our process? Not opening, not even when a federal judge repeatedly orders it.

In a separate case yesterday that could reveal more details about Abu Ghraib and other detention facilities, a federal judge in New York ordered the CIA to comply with the Freedom of Information Act and turn over to watchdog groups records concerning the treatment of prisoners in Iraq. It was the second time in six months that the judge suggested the government was impeding the American Civil Liberties Union's quest to monitor government actions in the war on terrorism.

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