Friday, November 04, 2005

Bad Men

Dan Froomkin writes today of an NPR interview with Lawrence Wilkerson, Colin Powell's former chief of staff, that seems to have dropped below the mainstream media's radar horizon. Wilkerson said…
…that he had uncovered a "visible audit trail" tracing the practice of prisoner abuse by U.S. soldiers directly back to Vice President Cheney's office.

Froomkin provides relevant snippets from the Wilkerson's interview with NPR's Steve Inskeep.
INSKEEP: While in the government, he says he was assigned to gather documents. He traced just how Americans came to be accused of abusing prisoners. In 2002, a presidential memo had ordered that detainees be treated in a manner consistent with the Geneva Conventions that forbid torture. Wilkerson says the vice president's office pushed for a more expansive policy.

Mr. WILKERSON: What happened was that the Secretary of Defense, under the cover of the vice president's office, began to create an environment -- and this started from the very beginning when David Addington, the vice president's lawyer [and the neo-clone who just replaced Scooter Libby as Cheney's chief of staff], was a staunch advocate of allowing the president in his capacity as commander in chief to deviate from the Geneva Conventions. Regardless of the president having put out this memo, they began to authorize procedures within the armed forces that led to, in my view, what we've seen.

Another sound byte from Wilkerson:
It was clear to me that there was a visible audit trail from the vice president's office through the secretary of Defense down to the commanders in the field that in carefully couched terms -- I'll give you that -- that to a soldier in the field meant two things: We're not getting enough good intelligence and you need to get that evidence, and, oh, by the way, here's some ways you probably can get it. And even some of the ways that they detailed were not in accordance with the spirit of the Geneva Conventions and the law of war.



MSNBC just reported that Mister Bush's visit to Argentina has prompted violent protests in the resort town of Mar del Plata.

Mister Bush probably wonders why he prompts that kind of reaction.

He'll no doubt ask Condi to explain it to him.

She'll no doubt tell him it's the doing of a few bad apples.

Then they'll both go to the gym, do some Nautilus, and share a sports drink.


  1. Re: Wilkerson's latest speechifying.

    Just a paranoid thought, but could it be that Wilkerson is a Bush plant (sorry for the redundancy), and this is all part of an attempt to save Bush by throwing Cheney and Rumsfeld to the wolves?

  2. Well, Doug, the way it reads, you just might think that.

    Nothing was Bush's fault, and all that.