Hearkening back to the good old days of Nixon, the Bush Administration is quickly learning that tapes cannot simply disappear. What the CIA and Bush/Cheney Junta once declared as a total of only two videotapes and one audiotape of interrogation (= torture) sessions of suspected terrorists, new (court-ordered) disclosures by the CIA put the number of recordings at much higher: At least 92 tapes. Don't expect these to hit YouTube anytime soon; the CIA destroyed all of these tapes, and any accounts of their contents may be classified to protect the names of the CIA personnel that viewed them. Interesting... This is like the time you found dad's porn collection and called all your buddies - But you somehow can't get busted because you and all your buddies are in a special club - Which always works, especially when dad walks in and finds you and your buddies watching his porn. Anyway, the ACLU sued to obtain information on torture and any possible evidence, and an official said that this disclosure "confirms that the CIA engaged in a systemic attempt to hide evidence of their own illegal conduct." Meanwhile, a CIA spokesman (unnamed, of course) said, "The CIA intends to produce all of the information requested to the court and to produce as much information as possible on the public record to the plaintiffs." Wow! I feel a whole lot better, don't you? We can totally trust those clandestine boys and their club now.
This week has been especially interesting, with a gamut of previously impressive characters doing equally interesting things. A brief rundown:
Obama's Maid Service
Continuing the promised housecleaning at the White House, President Obama has released Bush Administration legal memos that claimed "unfettered rights to transfer suspected terrorists to other governments without regard for whether they would be subject to torture." It must be added that Obama's CIA Director Leon Panetta has said he will continue this Clinton and Bush Admin policy of Extraordinary Rendition.
Further, Bush gave himself and the military full reign to "kick in doors" to pursue terrorists - No, not abroad, in Afghanistan or Pakistan or Saudi Arabia (where terrorists are) but in America.
"I hope we all fail"
Rick Santorum - remember Rick? The former Senator who hates Darwin, gay love, Social Security and science, but loves war. Again, many thanks to Pennsylvania for dumping this GOP mule in favor of Bob Casey, Jr. 59% to 41% - which is the worst margin an incumbent has lost by since 1980. Well, Rick is back (and now a lobbyist and "Senior Fellow" at the Ethics and Public Policy Center) and offering his wisdom. "Absolutely we hope that his policies will fail." said Rick at the recent CPAC Conference, echoing Rush Limbaugh's prayers for President Obama's policies to follow the fine example of the GOP's and utterly ruin our country. Mind you, this is coming from the same man who said that if you don't support our invasion of Iraq you aren't patriotic; oh, and that Terri Schiavo's brain isn't dead, she's just meditating... After hoping that our country doesn't pull out this depression, Rick Santorum returned to pushing cigarettes on kids.
Call us "Brownwater"
In an effort to "rebrand" the company synonymous with shadow armies and killing innocent people, the company formerly known as Blackwater USA has changed CEOs and its name. "Xe" (pronounced like the letter Z) will now be led by Gary Jackson, replacing former-Navy Seal and founder Erik Prince. "We've got a kinder, gentler machine-gun hand," said spokesman Neil Young (kidding); actually the slogan of Xe is "Providing a new generation of capability, skills, and people to solve the spectrum of needs in the world of security." (Read: "The world is insane, we're mercenaries, hire us.") Blackwater USA/AKA Xe is still being investigated for slaughtering Iraqis, and received no-bid (and classified) contracts from the Bush Administration to work in Afghanistan (nice work fellas!), Iraq, and post-Katrina New Orleans. Seriously, after a hurricane devastated New Orleans, one of the first contracts signed was for heavily-armed mercenaries to patrol the French Quarter.