Congress being unleashed to attack Bush


Richard Moore


Ever since the Democrats gained control in Congress, they have had a clear 
mandate to go after Bush. Indeed, that's exactly why the voters voted for them.
How disappointing it has been to watch Congress ignore that mandate and continue
to kowtow to Bush, with only occasional empty protests, designed to placate the 
disappointed voters without doing anything to deter Bush.

The article below indicates that Congress is about to begin doing its job for a 
change. But why now? Bush's earlier crimes were far worse than this current 
business about erasing a torture tape. To pick just one, there were all the lies
about Weapons of Mass Destruction. I think, however, that the answer to the 'why
now' question is rather obvious: the folks who pulled the plug on the Iran 
invasion intend to flush Bush down the drain at the same time. Clearly the 
Congressional leadership has been so informed. They will now proceed to gain as 
many political points as they can as they take pleasure in tarring and 
feathering Bush. One can almost begin to feel sorry for the poor fellow. Without
his usual backup, he'll only make a fool of himself as he tries to mount a 


Original source URL:

Torture Scandal May Cripple Bush

By Chris Gelken
22 December, 2007

The President is playing dumb and denying everything, and White House lawyer 
Joseph Hunt assumed an aggrieved air and asserted that it was ³inconceivable² 
that the missing Central Intelligence Agency interrogation video tapes could 
possibly have contained images of torture.

Well, to be more precise, he said they did not contain evidence of torture at 
Guantanamo Bay. Whether or not they carried sordid images of waterboarding and 
other coercive interrogations carried out at one of America¹s secret foreign 
gulags was not made immediately clear.

But since the tapes in question apparently did come from elsewhere, and Judge 
Henry Kennedy¹s 2005 order on preserving evidence related only to Gitmo-based 
interrogations, then it would appear there is no case to answer.

So has the Bush administration managed to dodge the bullet?

³I honestly don¹t think so,² Jeff Steinberg, Senior Editor of Executive 
Intelligence Review, told PressTV in a televised interview. ³I don¹t think that 
technicality has a great deal of credibility. Number two, I think the overall 
situation is that once again we finding the Bush administration engaged in a 
patter of cover-up, deception.²

Steinberg said the mere fact that they are again claiming that waterboarding, 
which most people have come to accept was depicted on the tapes, is not torture.
³That,² he said, ³is simply not a matter for the opinion of Vice President Dick 
Cheney or his top lawyer, David Addington.²

Steinberg explained that it is a principle of international law that 
waterboarding in a form of torture, and warned of an impending storm of denial, 
obfuscation and downright lies.

³I expect that we¹re going to see this as yet another pile up of cover-up and 
corruption by the White House,² he said, ³a steady stream of scandals very 
reminiscent of Watergate.²

The White House lawyer¹s assertion that the tapes contained nothing that the 
administration should be ashamed of is essentially contradicted by statements 
made earlier in the week by a retired CIA agent in an interview with ABC¹s John 

The former agent described how captured al-Qaeda chief Abu Zubaydah had broken 
after just 35-seconds worth of the treatment that simulates drowning. The agent,
however, denied taking part in the interrogation or knowing that the process was
being video taped. He also denied any knowledge of the tapes¹ disposal.

Steinberg told PressTV the interrogation described by the former agent could 
possibly be the subject of the tapes, but couldn¹t know for certain. One thing 
Steinberg was clear about, was his belief that at least some of the information 
that is causing so much embarrassment in the Oval Office was leaked by the CIA 

³I believe, and my sources in Washington tell me, that some of the information 
that has come out and has resulted in the latest scandal has come from within 
the CIA. People inside there, who detested the fact that people Œwent off the 
reservation¹ and violated the law,² he said.

Steinberg said many agents were angered that intelligence was cooked in the run 
up to the Iraq War, ³and my understanding is there is a certain kind of internal
house cleaning aspect of what¹s going on here.²

Steinberg said he expects to see a lot more information coming out and 
revelations of far more renditions, examples of torture and other illegal 
activity than has so far been reported or hinted at.

³And I think we are also going to discover that not very much useful 
intelligence came out of all of this,² he said, ³because these techniques 
inherently do not work. People who are being put through a near death experience
will say anything, make up anything to escape the torture.²

Physical torture, Steinberg said, is an inherently flawed method used by an 
inherently flawed administration, ³and a lot of chickens are coming home to 
roost right now and I think its all for the good.²

Dogged by scandals at the notorious Abu Ghraib and elsewhere, under pressure 
over failures in Iraq, and embarrassed by new intelligence estimates that 
undermined the administration¹s efforts to bully Iran into submission, the White
House is under siege.

Steinberg says efforts to smother this latest disgrace will be extensive.

³I am virtually certain that we are going to find this whole cover-up went to 
the highest levels of the Bush administration,² he said, ³All of the policy 
decisions related to the denial of information to Congress and other 
investigative agencies came directly out of the office of the Vice President.²

But keeping secrets is difficult, especially when one¹s own neck is at stake.

³I would not be surprised to find out a few months from now that there is 
evidence of some kind that President Bush himself lied at his press conference 
yesterday [Thursday] and that to one degree or other was fully aware and 
informed about those tapes and how and when they were destroyed.²

Steinberg said he would not rule out the possibility of the administration 
facing legal sanction, the threat of impeachment or continuing criminal 
investigation after the incumbents leave office.

³There will clearly be an attempt to find a scapegoat,² Steinberg said, ³but 
we¹ve been around this block so many times over the past seven years that the 
credibility of the White House and top government officials is near zero.²

Steinberg is cautiously optimistic that this time the administration may have 
gone too far. ³I honestly, at this point, do not think there is a high 
probability they are going to get away with it. I might be being optimistic, but
that¹s my take on the mood around the city and around the country.²

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